A bear saw a fox carrying a fish and asked the fox to teach him fishing. The fox decided to play a trick on the bear and replied, “Oh, its very simple. All you have to do is to dig a hole in the ice. Then put your tail into it and cover it with the ice. When it hurts, you will know that the fish has arrived and is nibbling your tail. Hold it for some time, then pull it sideways and you will get your fish.”
The excited bear went to the icy river and did as the fox said. After sometime he felt his tail getting frozen. When it started aching, he remembered the fox’s suggestion that the fish would bite it. Since the fox had asked him to wait for some time, he remained in that position for a while and then with great force, pulled it sideways. But to his dismay, his tail snapped off. That is why, bears are stumpy-tailed.