Though the author does not give us an exact amount of time that has passed, we know that Matt has endured the loss of his rifle from a stranger to whom Matt extended kindness and shelter. Additionally, Matt fails to secure the home’s door one day and a bear destroys most of the remainder of his food supplies, including a small amount of molasses.
The above events leave Matt with only the creek from which to secure food. He is able to fish in the creek and catches enough fish on which to survive. However, after some time, Matt determines he can no longer live on just fish. He is aware of a beehive near a pond in the woods. The thought of procuring some honey overwhelms his thoughts after days of having just fish to eat. Despite his reservations, he decides to chance getting stung and attempts to steal the honey from the bees. He fails in this attempt.