A Russian hunter shoots a mother bear and captures her two cubs, taking them home to his wife Ivnova, in the village of ""Little Pines."" Ivnova makes them a soft bed near the fire, and soon they are happily sucking ot milk from a cloth topped bottle. Under the good wife's care they grow fat and husky, and everybody learns to love them, as they roam freely about the village, never thinking of returning to the forest. But as they grow older they become alarmingly naughty, tipping over a pot of the good Ivanova's soup, hiding her iron pot fork, pulling feathers out of pillows, until she is forced to take them over her knee and soundly spank them. The good effects of the spanking are only short lived however, for soon again the neighbors are complaining of them chasing their chickens and robbing their gardens. Things really come to a climax however, when they are discovered on the roof, taking the chimney apart brick by brick. By this time the good Ivanova has had enough of bear cubs, and gives them to a hunter, who in turn sells them to a circus for one hundred rubles. This translation from the Russian is a charming story, beautifully written. Excellent for reading aloud as well as for first graders.