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Paddy the Beaver’s Work and Play
Work, work all the night
While the stars are shining bright;
Work, work all the day;
My work is my play. Hooray!
This little rhyme Paddy the Beaver made up as he toiled at building the dam which was to make the pond he so much desired deep in the beautiful Green Forest. Of course it wasn’t quite true, that about working all night and all day. Nobody could do that, you know, and keep it up. Everybody has to rest and sleep sometime. You see what was true is his work was play and play was his work as you will soon discover. It was also true that Paddy had oh so much to do because he had one kind of playtime during the long summer and now he had another kind of work and play time to get ready for the long cold winter.
Of all the little workers in the Green Forest, on the Green Meadows, and in the Smiling Pool, none could compare their work with that of Paddy the Beaver, not even his cousin, Jerry Muskrat. Happy Jack Squirrel and Striped Chipmunk stored up food for the long cold months when rough Brother North Wind and Jack Frost rule, and Jerry Muskrat builds a fine house where he keeps warm and comfortable. However, all this does not compare to the kind of work done by Paddy the Beaver as you will soon see.
And so, Paddy had a wonderfully long playtime through the summer. He wandered up and down the Laughing Brook. He followed it way up to the place where it started. And all the time he had been studying and surveying to make sure that he wanted to stay in the Green Forest.
For as beautiful as it was he first had to be sure that there was plenty of the kind of food that he likes. Then he had to be equally sure that he could make a pond near where this particular food grew. Last of all, he had to satisfy himself that if he did make a pond and build a home, he would be reasonably safe in it. And all of these things he had done in his summer playtime. Now he was ready to get to the play-filled work of preparing for winter.
Paddy the Beaver can see at night just like Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, and Bobby Coon. He seems to prefer the night because he feels safest then. However, he can see in the daytime also, and when he feels that he is perfectly safe and no one is watching, he works then too. So the first thing Paddy had to do was to build a dam across the Laughing Brook to make the pond he so much needed. He chose a low open place deep in the Green Forest, around the edge of which grew many young aspen trees, the bark of which is his favorite food. Through the middle of this open place flowed the Laughing Brook. At the lower edge was just the right place for a dam. It would not have to be very long, and when it was finished and the water was stopped in the Laughing Brook, it would just have to flow over the low open place and make a pond there. Paddy’s eyes twinkled when he first saw it. It was at that moment that he made up his mind to stay in the Green Forest.
So now that he was ready to begin his dam he went up the Laughing Brook to a place where alders and willows grew, and there he began work. His work was the cutting of a great number of trees by means of his big front teeth which were given him for just this purpose. And as he worked, Paddy felt happy for this was what he was born to do.
BEAVER Video #1
BEAVER Video #2
Sneak Peek for Chapter 15 – Old Man Coyote makes an appearance on the sandy shore near Paddy’s home.
Sneak Peek for Chapter 14 – Quaking Aspen trees, Paddy’s favorite food, going-going-gone!
Collection of Local BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST
From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.
More great beaver reads found at your local library.
Beaver Kits by Ruth Owen
This is a sweet and simple full color photo introduction book to all the basics about beavers.
Find out what beavers eat, where they live, and what they like to build.
Written with the young reader in mind and a part of the Wild Baby Animals series.
Beaversprite: My Years Building an Animal Sanctuary
by Dorothy Richards
This book was published in 1977 to share Dorothy’s 40+ years of experience raising beavers at her home to help restore the near extinct population of beavers in the state of New York.
Dorothy does a wonderful job of retelling of her adventures, especially through the eyes of someone who became a life learner and advocate of the beavers having had no experience with these animals prior to receiving her first pair in the 1930’s.
This book is highly recommended and is appropriate for an independent reader or to share sections as a read aloud for the whole family.