A Celebration of Women Writers

Keo the otter,
by Virgie Bernhardt (fl.1937)
Illustrations by Marjee Peters (fl.1937)
Milwaukee: E. M. Hale and Company, 1937. Copyright not renewed.


[Cover]  


KEO THE OTTER
[Title Page]  


KEO THE OTTER

by
VIRGIE BERNHARDT

Acknowledgment is made to
GEORGE G. GOODWIN
Assistant Curator of the American Museum of Natural History
for his cooperation and critical examination of the illustrations and for his many helpful suggestions

Illustrations by MARJEE PETERS

MILWAUKEE
E. M. HALE AND COMPANY
1937

Copyright 1937, Edward Stern & Co., Inc. Printed in U.S.A. All Rights Reserved



KEO
THE OTTER


Keo was a baby otter.

He lived with Mother and Father Otter in a den on the bank of a river in Canada.

Keo's mother and father caught many fish in the river.

They brought the fish home for supper.



Keo was a beautiful baby.

His two sisters were beautiful, too.

They had soft brown fur coats.

Keo's mother licked him with her tongue and said, "Keo, you have a beautiful fur coat. But men think so, too. They will try to take your fur coat. Be careful, Keo."



The otter's den was a cozy place.

The doorway opened right into the water.

Father Otter made the doorway so that no one could find it.

At first Keo was afraid of the water.

He curled up close to his two sisters.

He did not move.

He lay very still.



Then Keo heard his mother digging at the top of the den.

Soon she called to her baby otters, "Come and take a walk."

The baby otters all stretched.

They went over to their mother.

Mother Otter had made a new door in the top of the den.

She knew the baby otters were afraid of the water.

The new door opened under the root of a big tree.

Mother Otter and her babies climbed out.

They were safe on the ground above the water.

The world looked big and blue.



Mother Otter took her babies down to the water.

There was a pile of leaves on the bank.

Suddenly Keo saw something bright and shiny.

"Mother," said Keo, "what is this beautiful shiny thing?"

"Keo," said Mother Otter, "that is a trap and it has sharp teeth. You must stay away from traps."

Keo ran away from the trap.

He knew sharp teeth could bite.



The water looked beautiful and blue.

Keo dipped his foot into the water.

He did not like it.

It was wet and cold.

"You are a funny Keo," said Mother, "but soon you will learn to swim. Then you will like the water."



Father and Mother Otter were wonderful swimmers.

They swam under the water so smoothly that there was not a ripple on top.

Keo could never tell when they were under the water until he saw silver bubbles on top.

Then he could see their noses.

Otters can swim as quietly as fish.

They have heavy, flat tails and strong front legs.

That is why they are such good swimmers.



One day the baby otters were on the river bank watching their father and mother swim.

Mother Otter came over to them and said, "Come and take a ride on my back."

Keo was afraid, but Father Otter said, "Come, Keo, and show your sisters that you are brave."

So Keo climbed on Mother Otter's back.

His sisters climbed on, too.

The water felt cold, and it tickled the baby otters, but they held on tight.



Soon Mother Otter ducked under the water with her babies.

Keo almost let go, he was so frightened.

The water came up into his eyes and nose.

Then Mother Otter took the baby otters back to land.

Keo shook himself all over.

The water flew into his sisters' faces.

"That was fun," said Keo. "Mother, take us for another ride!"



The next time Mother Otter took her babies for a swim she dumped them off into the water.

Keo was frightened when he felt Mother Otter sliding out from under him.

He squealed and splashed in the water.

He felt very shaky, but he tried to swim.

Soon Mother Otter came along.

She dived under the baby otters and they grabbed her fur tight.

They climbed on her strong back.

Then Mother Otter carried her babies back to shore.



In a few weeks the baby otters could swim by themselves.

Their webbed feet helped them swim smoothly.

Soon they began to use the water door to their den.

They did not go in and out the land door now.

That was for baby otters who could not swim.



Father Otter taught them how to go into the den so no one could see them.

He taught them to dive under the water in the middle of the river.

Then they had to swim straight for the doorway without letting their noses show.



Father Otter was a good fisherman.

He caught the biggest fish in the river as he swam along.

Then he carried them to a rock for his family to eat.

One day Keo went fishing.

He swam along, watching for a fish to come by.

Soon he met a big one and he grabbed at it.

But it went on swimming down the river.

Another fish came along.

Keo rushed through the water and grabbed again with his teeth.

But he only got a mouthful of water.



Then Keo saw another fish coming.

He watched it very closely.

The fish tried to wriggle out of his way.

But Keo rushed after it.

As the fish zigzagged away, Keo grabbed it.

My, but he was proud!

He carried it to shore in his mouth.

There was Father Otter.

He had been watching Keo

"You will be a good fisherman, Keo," said Father Otter.



One day Keo and his sisters took a walk along the river.

They saw a smooth little hill.

At the bottom of the hill was the water.

"I am going to have some fun," said Keo.

He went down the hill as fast as he could.

Near the bottom he flopped down and slid.

But the dry ground was not very slippery.

Then Keo's sister dived into the water.

When her fur was all wet, she came out.

She coasted down the hill to the water and splashed in.

The water from her coat made the ground slippery.



Then zip! Keo went down the slippery slide.

Splash! He hit the water.

It was so much fun that Keo wanted to try it again.

But he waited for his sisters to take their turns.

The slide became smoother and smoother.

Keo tried to catch one of his sisters.

And they both turned somersaults in the water.



When winter came, they had an ice slide.

It was very slippery.

They went faster than the wind.

Fast, fast they went down the icy slide!

Down they slid into a hole in the ice.



One day Keo and his sisters swam with Father Otter away up the river.

They had never been there before.

In the water there were round houses made of sticks.

They were beaver houses.

A beaver was working on the bank of the river.

He was cutting a tree with his sharp teeth.

Keo climbed up on the bank to watch the beaver.

Suddenly he heard a loud crash.

And off ran Keo into the woods.

When he looked out again he saw that the tree had fallen over.

The beaver had cut the tree down with his sharp teeth.



Keo wondered where Father Otter was.

He came to the edge of the river and whistled.

Soon he heard a whistle from the river.

It was Father Otter.

Keo started to swim to his father.

He was so glad to see his father that he did not see something big and brown swimming toward him.

It was a beaver.

He was angry.

The otters were in his pond and the beaver didn't like that.



The beaver snapped at Keo with his teeth and bit him.

Keo was frightened, but he snapped back.

He snapped at the beaver's ear and bit it hard.

The beaver grabbed Keo's back with his teeth.



Suddenly Keo felt the beaver let go.

He looked around and there was Father Otter.

Father Otter was shaking the beaver back and forth.

He shook the beaver so hard that the beaver was glad to swim away.



Father Otter and Keo climbed out on the river bank.

Father Otter licked Keo's bites with his tongue.

Then they all swam slowly home.



Mother Otter had fish for their supper.

Keo told her about the beaver.

Mother Otter licked Keo's bites with her tongue.

Then Keo felt better.

He curled up between his sisters and his mother and shut his eyes.

It was good to be safe at home again.



[Inside Front Cover]  


PICTURE SCRIPTS


COOPERATING EDITORS
Rebecca J. Coffin: Avah W. Hughes: Lula E. Wright
Florence Matthews Tchaika
of the
Lincoln School of Teachers College
Columbia University

 

GENERAL PROGRAM

SOCIAL STUDIES
Transportation
Communication
Foods
Clothing
Housing
Public Utilities
Natural Resources
People of Other Lands
People of Long Ago

SCIENCE
Natural Science
Physical Science

LITERATURE
Anthologies
Original Stories
Reprints of Classics

 

REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.

 

EDITORIAL BOARD

The Editorial Board is composed of a group of teachers within Lincoln School of Teacher's College, Columbia University. They have had wide experience in teaching children of different age levels, in giving courses in Language and Literature, Reading and Curriculum Making at various universities, and in writing for children. Well-known writers whose books for children have been available only in more expensive form are contributing. New writers with especial ability and knowledge in various fields are collaborating with the editors.

[Inside Back Cover]  


PICTURE SCRIPTS

Simple stories based on children's interests, attractively illustrated and printed, Picture Scripts have been created to fill a widespread need in the school, and in the home.



BOATS
From giant ocean liners to tiny tugs, illustrated and described.

TRAINS
A picture book about locomotives, cars, tracks, signals, etc.

PENNY PENGUIN
Introducing polar information and its accompanying thrills.

MARIA MELLO
Life on the Amazon, and the raw rubber industry.

POEMS OF TODAY
Over 50 poems by well-known writers of verse for children.

OWNEY, THE POSTAL DOG
A true story of a dog who travelled with the mail.

A STORY OF MILK
Complete details, from the dairy farm to the consumer.

THE TUGBOAT
Describing the work of these busy little boats.

OLD STRAWBERRY AND MOLLY
A story about two faithful old fire horses.

FIRE! FIRE!
How the fire-fighters protect people and property.

BINKIE AND THE FIREMEN
A puppy rescued from a basement becomes the firemen's pet.

THE FIREBOAT
How a fireboat saves a burning freighter.

TABBY AND THE BOAT FIRE
A kitten playing in the hold smells smoke and saves the ship.

HOW TO MAKE MARIONETTES
Simple directions, illustrated with clear photographs of children actually doing the work.

MATILDA, THE OLD-FASHIONED HEN
A lively, funny story in rhyme, of a hen, a rooster, and their twelve downy chicks.

AIRPLANES
Pictures, information, maps, routes and simple details about modern aviation devices.

ALONG THE BUSY RIVER
Bridges, dams, little boats, big ships, swimming, racing, fishing – in picture and verse.

THE PICNIC
A delightful story of a rural Negro family, showing an integral part of the South today.

CHILDREN, COME AND SING
Songs for little children, about the seasons and such.

THE WOODEN BEAR
A story of the wood carvers, clock makers, and the bears of Berne, Switzerland.

KEO THE OTTER
A day with the Otter family. Full of fun and adventure.

ON THE ROAD
Buses, trucks, taxis, private cars, practically everything that travels along the road. Pictures and rhyme.

BREAD
From the wheat fields to the family table. The whole process interestingly pictured and described.

TWO LITTLE NAVAHOS DIP THEIR SHEEP
A story of Navaho Indian children and particularly about one of their thrilling adventures – a sheep dip.

THE WORLD IS ROUND
The first in a series of Science materials. Simply and accurately worded and illustrated.

GENERAL PROGRAM

Many titles are now in preparation, covering the general fields of Social Studies, Science and Literature.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This book has been put on-line courtesy of Mary Mark Ockerbloom at
A Celebration of Women Writers.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom