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A Footprint in the Mud
Very early one morning Paddy the Beaver heard Sammy Jay making a terrible fuss over in the aspen trees on the edge of the pond Paddy had made in the Green Forest. Paddy couldn’t see because he was inside his house, and it has no window, though he could still hear the commotion. He wrinkled up his brows thoughtfully.
“Seems to me that Sammy is very much excited about something this morning,” he said, talking to himself. “When he calls in alarm like that, Sammy is usually trying to do two things at once: make trouble for somebody and keep somebody else out of trouble. Now, I should say from the sounds that Sammy has discovered Reddy Fox trying to steal up on someone over where my aspen trees are growing. Reddy is afraid of me, and yet I suspect that he knows that Peter Rabbit has been hanging around here a lot lately, watching me work, and he thinks perhaps he can catch Peter. I shall have to whisper in one of Peter’s long ears and tell him to watch out.”
After a while he heard Sammy Jay’s voice growing fainter and fainter in the Green Forest. Finally he couldn’t hear it at all. “Whoever was there has gone away, and Sammy has followed them,” thought Paddy. He was very busy making a bed. He is very particular about his bed. He makes it of fine splinters of wood which he splits off with those wonderful great cutting teeth of his. This makes the driest kind of a bed. It requires a great deal of patience and work. He kept at it for some time after all was still outside.
At last Paddy decided that he would go over to his aspen trees and look them over to decide which ones he would cut the next night. He slid down one of his long halls, out the doorway at the bottom of the pond, and then swam up to the surface, where he floated for a few minutes with just his head out of water. And all the time his eyes and nose and ears were busy looking, smelling, and listening for any sign of danger. Everything was still. Sure that he was quite safe, Paddy swam across to the place where the aspen trees grew, and waddled out on the shore.
Paddy looked this way and looked that way. He looked up in the tree tops, and he looked off up the hill, and most of all he looked and studied the ground. You see, he hadn’t forgotten the fuss Sammy Jay had been making there, and he was trying to find out what it was all about. At first he didn’t see anything unusual, and then by and by he happened to notice a little wet place, and right in the middle of it was something that made Paddy’s eyes open wide. It was a footprint! Someone had stepped in the mud.
“A-ha!” exclaimed Paddy, and the hair on his back lifted ever so little, and for a minute he had a prickly feeling all over. The footprint was very much like that of Reddy Fox, only it was larger.
“Uh-oh!” said Paddy again, “that is the footprint of Old Man Coyote! I see I have got to watch out more sharply than I had thought. All right Mr. Coyote, you will probably be back here tonight looking for me, so I think I’ll do my cutting right now in the daytime.”
BEAVER Video #29
BEAVER Video #30
Old Man Coyote has been on the prowl leaving paw prints as he passes by the new and old beaver dams.
Paddy IS a busy beaver with a trio of toppled trees and more in the works!
Collection of 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.