Story + Local Videos
Paddy Plans a Pond
Paddy the Beaver was busy cutting down trees for the dam he had planned to build. Up in the woods of the North from which he had come to the Green Forest he had learned all about tree cutting, dam building, canal digging, and house building. Paddy’s father and mother had been very wise in the ways of the Beaver world, sharing what they knew and Paddy had been quick to learn. So now he knew just what to do and the best way of doing it.
He carefully picked out the trees to cut. He could not afford to waste time cutting down a tree that wasn’t going to be just what he wanted when it was down. When he was sure that the tree was right, he looked up at the top to find out whether, when he had cut it, it would fall clear of other trees. He had learned to do that when he was quite young. He had to remember to cut it just a certain way so that when it fell the top would not get caught in another tree and it would fall just where he wanted it.
Then he sat up on his hind legs, and with his great broad tail for a brace, began to make the chips fly. You know Paddy has the most wonderful teeth for cutting. They are long and broad and sharp. He would begin by making a deep bite and then another just a little way below. Then he would pry out the little piece of wood between. When he had cut very deep on one side so that the tree would fall that way he would work around to the other side. Just as soon as the tree began to lean and he was sure that it was going to fall he would scamper away so as to be out of danger. He loved to see those tall trees lean forward slowly, then faster and faster, till they struck the ground with a crash!
Just as soon as they were down he would trim off the branches until the trees were just long poles. This was easy work, for he could take off a good sized branch with one bite. On many he left their bushy tops. When he had trimmed them to suit him and had cut them into the right lengths, he would tug and pull them down to the place where he intended to build his dam.
There he placed the poles side by side, not across the Laughing Brook like a bridge, instead with the big ends pointing up the Laughing Brook, which was quite broad and yet shallow right there. To keep them from floating away, he rolled stones and piled mud on the bushy ends. Clear across on both sides he laid those poles until the land began to rise. Then he dragged more poles and piled on top of these and wedged short sticks crosswise between them.
And all the while the Laughing Brook was having a harder and harder time running. The merry laugh of the brook grew less merry and finally almost stopped, because, you see, the water could not get through all those poles and sticks fast enough. It was just about that time that the little people of the Smiling Pool decided that it was best to go see what Paddy was doing. They started up the Laughing Brook, leaving only Grandfather Frog and the tadpoles in the Smiling Pool, which for a little while would smile no more.
Purchase your copy of this P.L.A.Y. story adventure HERE!
The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated):
A P.L.A.Y. Nature Story Activity Book
by Karen L. Willard
Learn all about amazing beaver behaviors in this P.L.A.Y.-filled nature story activity book based on the Thornton Burgess animal adventure series.
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This P.L.A.Y. guide book provides hours of entertainment as a read aloud to share with the whole family, a community group, in a classroom, or to simply curl up with solo.
The BONUS P.L.A.Y. guide pages include opportunities to:
illustrate each chapter
photos shared of real beaver activity
tree themed and blank nature journaling pages
recommended resources and so much more
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P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series
See the water channel behind this dam that Paddy has made for storing his food sticks for the winter.
Trees gnawed by Paddy into the water and winter food storage.
Collection of all local BEAVER videos #1-24 on PINTEREST
From January 2019 to March 2020 Karen P.L.A.Y.fully captured signs of a beaver’s local activities at her home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts to pin and share the adventures with you on her Pinterest Beaver Board.
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Compliment your purchase of this P.L.A.Y. guide with these other great beaver reads found at your local library.
A Beaver Tale: The Castors of Conners Creek
Written and Illustrated by Gerald Wykes
A fun and true story about a beaver family returning to the Detroit River after beavers being absent in the area for over 150 years.
Full color illustrations and elementary age readability.
Lily Pond: Four Years with a Family of Beavers
by Hope Ryden
Hope Ryden stands on the shoulders of giants like Dorothy Richards and continues the study of beavers in their habitat by observing beavers at Lily Pond in Harriman State Park in New York for four years through all seasons.
This book takes up where Dorothy’s book leaves off in terms of discovering more behaviors and reasons why beavers are so important to our ecosystems.
Independent reader recommended.
Note: There is also a black & white picture book that is simply a shorter version of this chapter book.