Story + Local Videos
Paddy Keeps His Promise
Paddy the Beaver kept right on working just as if he hadn’t any visitors. You see, it is a big undertaking to build a dam. And when that was done there was a house to build and a supply of food for the winter to cut and store.
At first it didn’t look much like a dam and some of Paddy’s visitors expectations were not met. They had heard stories of what a wonderful dam builder Paddy was, and they had expected to see something like the smooth, grass covered bank with which Farmer Brown kept the Big River from running back on his low lands. Instead, all they saw was a great pile of poles and sticks which looked nothing like a dam to them.
“Pooh!” exclaimed Billy Mink, “I guess we needn’t worry about the Laughing Brook and the Smiling Pool, why, the water of the Laughing Brook will work through that pile of sticks in no time.”
Of course Paddy heard him, said nothing, and just kept right on working.
“Just look at the way he has laid those sticks!” continued Billy Mink. “Why didn’t he lay them across the Laughing Brook instead of just the other way?”
Paddy said nothing; he just kept right on working.
”Why, that pile of sticks will never stop the water,” Billy repeated in disbelief.
“Wait a minute Billy Mink, I think you need to take another closer look” said Jerry Muskrat.
Billy squinted his eyes and stared and said “Nope I still don’t get it.”
“Did you notice that the Laughing Brook is over its banks above Paddy’s dam?” replied Jerry, who had been studying the dam with a great deal of interest.
Then Billy took a longer look and sure enough there was a little pool just above the dam, and it was growing bigger.
Paddy still kept at work, saying nothing. He was digging in front of the dam now, and the mud and grass he dug up he stuffed in between the ends of the sticks and patted down with his hands. He did this all along the front of the dam and on top of it too, wherever he thought it was needed. Of course this made it harder for the water to work through, and the little pond above the dam began to grow faster. It wasn’t too long before it was nearly to the top of the dam, which at first was very low. Then Paddy brought more sticks. This was easier now because he could float them down from where he was cutting. He would put them in place on the top of the dam, then hurry for more. Wherever it was needed, he would put in mud. He even rolled a few stones in to help hold the mass.
So the dam grew and grew and so did the pond above the dam. Of course, it took a good many days to build so big a dam, and a lot of hard work! Every morning the little folks of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows would visit it, and every morning they would find that it had grown a great deal in the night, for that is when Paddy likes best to work.
Now by this time, the Laughing Brook had stopped laughing, and down in the Smiling Pool there was hardly water enough for the minnows to feel safe for a minute. The little folks who live in the Laughing Brook and the Smiling Pool were beginning to worry.
To be sure Paddy had warned them of what he was going to do, and had promised that just as soon as his pond was big enough, the water would once more run in the Laughing Brook. They tried to believe him, and yet they couldn’t help having just a wee bit of concern since this was new for most of them. Jerry Muskrat was the only one who seemed absolutely sure that everything would be all right. Perhaps that was because Paddy is his cousin, and Jerry couldn’t help feel a bit of pride watching his big cousin build something so amazing.
So day by day the dam grew, and the pond grew, and then one morning Grandfather Frog, down in what had once been the Smiling Pool, heard a sound that made his heart jump for joy. It was a murmur that kept growing and growing, until at last it was the merry laugh of the
Laughing Brook. Then he knew that Paddy had kept his word and water would once more fill the Smiling Pool. Hooray!
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
P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series
See how the recent storm with rain, sleet, and snow has impacted the beaver canal.
See a close-up inspection of the beaver dam and rising water levels.
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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.