Once upon a time there lived together a Bear, a Glutton and a Wolf. They were good friends and never quarrelled, but one day quarrel they did, and they never made it up to the end of their days. This is how it came about.
The Glutton had a young sister who, when she grew up, became very, very beautiful. The Wolf wanted to marry her and he said to the Glutton:
"Do let me marry your sister, Glutton."
"Oh no, Wolf, you are no match for her," the Glutton said. "You are grey and were born of the snow while we gluttons are black and were born of the earth."
They argued for a long time but could not agree, and at last the Wolf said:
"Let us go to our elder brother the Bear. Let him decide which of us is right."
They came to the Bear's house, and the Wolf said:
"We have come to beg you, O Bear our brother, to tell us which of us is right. I have asked the Glutton to let me marry her sister, but she won't. That is why we have quarrelled."
"It is a bad thing that you cannot agree," said the Bear. "You will be punished for it. From now on, Wolf, you will live all by yourself, apart from everyone else, and will have no more than three young ones a year. And you, Glutton, will have no more than one. Also, many of your children will get caught in traps and die, and you too will meet your death that way."
The Bear's words only saddened the Wolf who went off home without replying, but they made the Glutton very angry.
"You have put a curse on me, Bear!" she cried. "Well, I shall put a curse on you in return! From now on you will spend all your winters sleeping in a hole which you will dig out for yourself, and it is in winter that men will come and kill you."
And it all turned out just the way the Bear and the Glutton said it would. The Wolf has no more than three young ones a year, and the Glutton only one; the Glutton's young are forever getting caught in traps and dying, and the Bear sleeps in his lair all winter long.