P.L.A.Y. + Thornton Burgess

P.L.A.Y. and Thornton Burgess:

Nature Storytellers Past + Present

Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965), author and longtime resident of Massachusetts, is best known for his 50 years of writing about nature conservation through children’s literature. He wrote over 150 books and thousands of daily newspaper columns bringing the forest and fauna to life for families across the United States and around the world over 100 years ago.

In so many of his books about the Green Forest, often featuring Peter Rabbit as the reader’s guide, Burgess was able to share with great detail all the wonderful magical moments Mother Nature provided in his local New England landscape. Through his nature story telling he was able to weave in factual information and his own personal observations from time spent outdoors. This was beneficial by informing his audience, both parents and children, as to what they could find just by stepping out their own door and encouraging them to immerse in their own spot of nature. This has allowed his books to be timeless and of great value even to this day.

However over the past ten years I’ve been revisiting his story books, especially looking at how the characters interact and treat one another, and knowing in my heart as a mother and as a human walking this earth a change was needed.

So for the past few years P.L.A.Y. has taken on the task to reinvent Thornton Burgess’ works for the 21st century family. Many of his stories are readily available in the public domain to be used by creatives and artists and for general public use. P.L.A.Y. has maintained the intention to keep all of the wonder and value of his nature stories intact AND to replace some of his language with new phrasing to reflect the way we’d like to see people being and connecting in this world with a primary focus on loving-kindness and compassionate communication.

For the most part Thornton Burgess’ descriptions of plants, landscape features, and basic animal behaviors has not changed in the past 100+ years since he first wrote these works. What has, and continues to change, is what is considered acceptable language and behaviors for human interactions. And since Burgess used anthropomorphizing, attributing human characteristics or behaviors to animals, as a mechanism to get messages across to the reader it is important to take a closer look at how this was written in the past and see how it could be adjusted to still be relevant now and for future generations.

In the past Thornton Burgess often had his animal characters shame and blame one another as they went about their day in the Green Forest and Green Meadow. There were put downs, name calling, bullying, and derogatory remarks cast at one another. And sometimes a characters name or description would negatively label them, for example as a thief or robber, when they were simply acting on natural instinct. For me, this does not model the change we’d like to see in this world and certainly doesn’t represent the behaviors we’d like to experience with each other. And since the intended audience of these stories is primarily children and families I felt strongly that there needed to be a change.

One example of how P.L.A.Y. has adapted these stories for present day audiences is by applying compassionate communication principles in the dialog between characters so that you will no longer hear Peter Rabbit making fun of Old Man Toad or tossing put downs at Jumper the Hare and instead Peter Rabbit gets curious and asks questions whenever he becomes troubled or frustrated or afraid.

Another example of how P.L.A.Y. has modified these stories is by apply loving-kindness concepts such as “treat others how you’d like to be treated”. These values are all woven into the story in such a way to encourage the audience to put these into practice in their own lives with family, friends, and neighbors and to experience the positive ripple effects daily.

The P.L.A.Y. annotated versions of these Burgess stories also have added bonus content for curious minds including prompts and questions to explore ideas further, lists of topic resources, and photos from locations in New England reflecting the story landscape and animal habitats.

P.L.A.Y.‘s annotated series of Burgess’ stories include free versions found here online: Paddy the Beaver, Old Man Toad, Lightfoot the Deer, Burgess Bird Book, Burgess Animal Book, or they may be purchased in book format HERE.

P.L.A.Y. intends to add future nature titles to this collection annually so be sure to check back often for more magical moments!

I have much gratitude for these century old writings created by Thornton Burgess and the focus on connecting families to nature through story telling. I also have much gratitude for the opportunity to bring this work forward with adaptations suitable for the next generation of families engaging both their curiosity for nature and connection to wholehearted living through encouraging compassionate communication and loving-kindness.

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.

BEAVER – Chapter 24 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Paddy’s Winter Tail Trail

And so Paddy had cut down the trees he needed, engineered a dam to make a pond, built a canal, created his storehouse of foods, and completed his lodge. It was now time to hunker down and settle in for the long winter. He thanked Sammy Jay again for his help, said he’d see all the little four footed people in the spring when the ice thawed, and then dove under the water to his cozy home.

Paddy stayed mostly under the ice of the pond all that winter eating from his storehouse of tree branch bark, nibbling at some leftover water lily roots here and there, and staying warm and dry in his lodge.

Once in a while during the winter, if the ice melted back on the pond and there was an opening, Paddy would wander down along the Laughing Brook. On this rare occasion all the other four legged little people and feathered friends of the Green Forest knew he had taken a stroll and that he was well as he always left behind a wonderful trail with his tail. What a true tell * tail * sign!

When Paddy did make these rare ventures out he always had two things in mind: Keeping an eye out for Old Man Coyote who was active at that time of year and setting his sights on finding a mate for life and creating a family to share his new home deep in the beautiful Green Forest.


Beaver Video #44 

 After 3 weeks of “silence” more signs of Paddy the Beaver have appeared! Hooray he’s back!

Gnawing, woodchips, footprints, and missing branches are all signs of Paddy the Beaver at both work and play!

BEAVER video collection #1-44 available on PINTEREST

More Nature Adventures and Stories are just a click away for you and your family!

BEAVER – Chapter 23 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Paddy Finishes His Harvest

Sammy was on hand bright and early every morning. He made sure that Old Man Coyote was nowhere in the Green Forest, and then he settled himself comfortably in the top of a tall pine tree where he could see all that was going on while Paddy the Beaver worked.

“The way to make people want to be trusted is to trust them,” Paddy said to himself. “If I show Sammy Jay that I don’t really trust him, he will think it is of no use to try and will give it up. And if I do trust him, and he knows that I do, he’ll be the best watchman in the Green Forest.”

And this shows that Paddy the Beaver has a great deal of wisdom, for it was just as he thought and Sammy continued to come and be on guard. And Paddy worked away just as if he hadn’t a fear in the world.

Finally Paddy had finished his canal, and a beautiful canal it was, leading straight from his pond up to the aspen trees. As soon as he had finished it, he began to cut the trees. As soon as one was down he would cut it into short lengths and roll them into the canal. Then he would float them out to his pond and over to his storehouse. He took the larger branches, on which there was sweet, tender bark, in the same way, for Paddy likes to make use of all of the tree.

After a while he went over to his storehouse, which, you know, was simply a great pile of aspen logs and branches in his pond close by his house. He studied it very carefully. Then he swam back and climbed up on the bank of his canal.

“Mr. Jay,” he said, “I think our work is about finished.”

“What!” cried Sammy, “Aren’t you going to cut the rest of those aspen trees?”

“Oh no,” replied Paddy. “Enough is always enough, and I’ve got enough to last me all winter. I want those trees for next year. Now I am fixed for the winter. I think I’ll take it easy for a while.”

Sammy looked disappointed. You see he had just begun to learn that the greatest pleasure in the world comes from doing things for other people. Someone wanted him around and to be his friend and it gave him such a good feeling deep down inside.

Finish Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 24


BEAVER Video #42 

BEAVER Video #43

 The beaver channel is free and clear of ice chunks as they are now stacked up on the sides after a rain storm. 

Do you think Paddy the Beaver hung up his carpenter hat for a moment to try his hand at masonry with all those ice slabs stacked around his lodge?

Collection of all 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.

BEAVER – Chapter 22 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Paddy and Sammy Jay Work Together

Jerry Muskrat had been home at the Smiling Pool for several days. Alas, he couldn’t stay there long. Oh, my, no! He just had to get back to see what his big cousin, Paddy the Beaver, was doing. So as soon as he was sure that everything was all right at the Smiling Pool he hurried back up the Laughing Brook to Paddy’s pond, deep in the Green Forest. As soon as he was in sight of it, he looked eagerly for Paddy. At first he didn’t see him. Then he stopped and gazed over at the place where Paddy had been cutting aspen trees for food. Something was going on there, something odd. He couldn’t make it out.

Just then Sammy Jay came flying over.

“What’s Paddy doing?” Jerry asked.

Sammy Jay dropped down to the top of an alder tree and fluffed out all his feathers in a very important way. “Oh,” he said, “Paddy and I are building something!”

“You! Paddy and you! Ho, ho, ho! Paddy and you building something? How could that be?” Jerry chuckled.

“Yes, me!” Sammy said. “Paddy and I are building something.”

Jerry had begun to swim across the pond by this time, and Sammy was flying across and said “Go ahead and ask Paddy if I’m helping!”

Jerry ducked under water momentarily and when he came up again, Sammy was over in the little grove of aspen trees where Paddy was at work. Then Jerry discovered something. Why, what was it? A little water path led right up to the aspen trees, and there, at the end of the little water path, was Paddy the Beaver hard at work. He was digging and piling the earth on one side very neatly. In fact, he was making the water path longer. Jerry swam right up the little water path to where Paddy was working. “Good morning, Cousin Paddy,” he said. “What are you doing?”

“Oh,” replied Paddy, “Sammy Jay and I are building a canal.”

Sammy Jay looked down at Jerry, and Jerry looked at Paddy as if he thought that he was joking.

“Sammy Jay? What’s Sammy Jay got to do about it?” replied Jerry.

“A whole lot,” replied Paddy. “You see, he keeps watch while I work. If he didn’t, I couldn’t work, and there wouldn’t be any canal. Old Man Coyote has been trying to catch me, and I wouldn’t dare work on shore if it wasn’t that I am sure that the sharpest eyes in the Green Forest are watching for danger.”

Sammy Jay looked very much pleased indeed and very proud. “So you see it takes both of us to make this canal; I dig while Sammy watches. So we are building it together,” concluded Paddy with a twinkle in his eyes.

“I see,” said Jerry slowly. Then he turned to Sammy Jay. “I beg your pardon, Sammy,” he said. “I do, indeed.”

“That’s all right,” replied Sammy. “What do you think of our canal?”

“I think it is wonderful,” replied Jerry.

And indeed it was a very fine canal, straight, wide, and deep enough for Paddy to swim in and float his logs out to the pond. Yes, indeed, it was a very fine canal.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 23


BEAVER Video #40 (longer) + Video 40A (shorter)

Video #41

 Winter Wondering – Where’s Paddy the Beaver?

Ice chunks breaking up at the beaver channel impacting food storage +lodge.
Close-up of the ice chunks breaking up at the beaver lodge entrance.

Conditions keep changing and we keep wondering. . . where’s Paddy?

Collection of all 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.

BEAVER – Chapter 21 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Sammy Jay Offers to Help Paddy

Paddy sat looking thoughtfully at the aspen trees he would have to cut to complete his store of food for the winter. All those near the edge of his pond had been cut. The others were scattered about some little distance away. “I don’t know,” said Paddy out loud. “I just don’t know.”

“What? What don’t you know?” asked Sammy Jay, who, now that he and Paddy had become friends, was very much interested in what Paddy was doing.

“Why,” replied Paddy, “I don’t know just how I am going to get those trees. Now that Old Man Coyote is watching for me, it isn’t safe for me to go very far from my pond. I suppose I could dig a canal up to some of the nearest trees and then float them down to the pond, however it is hard to work and keep sharp watch for danger at the same time. I guess I’ll have to be content with some of these alders growing close to the water, and yet the bark of aspens is so much better that I wish I could get them.”

“What’s a canal?” asked Sammy curiously.

“A canal? Why, a canal is a kind of ditch in which water can run,” replied Paddy.

Sammy nodded. “I’ve seen Farmer Brown dig one over on the Green Meadows, and it looked like a great deal of work. I didn’t suppose
that any one else could do it. Do you really mean that you can dig a canal, Paddy?”

“Of course I mean it,” replied Paddy, in a surprised tone of voice. “I have helped dig lots of canals. You ought to see some of them back where I came from.”

“I’d like to,” replied Sammy. “I think it is perfectly wonderful. I don’t see how you do it.”

“It’s easy enough when you know how,” replied Paddy. “If I dared to, I’d show you.”

Sammy had a sudden idea. It almost made him gasp. “I tell you what, you work and I’ll keep watch!” he cried. “You know my eyes are very sharp.”

“Will you?” cried Paddy eagerly. “That would be perfectly splendid. You have the sharpest eyes of any one I know, and I would feel perfectly safe with you on watch. Although, I don’t want to put you to all that trouble, Mr. Jay.”

“Of course I will,” replied Sammy, “and it won’t be any trouble at all. I’ll just love to do it.” You see, it made Sammy feel very proud to have Paddy say that he had such sharp eyes. “When will you begin?”

“Right away,” said Paddy, “ if you will just take a look around and see that it is perfectly safe for me to come out on land.”

Sammy didn’t wait to hear more. He spread his beautiful blue wings
and started off over the Green Forest straight for the Green Meadows.

Paddy watched him go with a puzzled and disappointed air. “That’s funny,” he mused. “I thought he really meant it, and now off he goes without even saying good-bye.”

In a little while back came Sammy, all out of breath. “It’s all right,” he panted. “You can go to work just as soon as you please.”

Paddy looked more puzzled than ever. “How do you know?” he asked. “I haven’t seen you looking around.”

“I did better than that,” replied Sammy. “If Old Man Coyote had been hiding somewhere in the Green Forest, it might have taken me some time to find him. He isn’t though. You see, I flew straight over to his home in the Green Meadows to see if he is there, and he is. He’s taking a sun bath and looking as cross as two sticks. I don’t think he’ll be back here this morning, and I’ll keep a sharp watch just in case while you work.”

Paddy made Sammy a low bow. “You certainly are a good helper and a clever friend, Mr. Jay,” he said. “I wouldn’t have thought of going over to Old Man Coyote’s home to see if he was there. I’ll feel perfectly safe with you on guard. Now I’ll get to work.”

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 22


BEAVER Video #39

Since the latest storm and raging river episode I think perhaps Paddy has taken a break from his work as I discovered this lounge chair in the river just 5 feet away from his lodge.

Is Paddy the Beaver still assessing the damage from the storms or has he moved on to calmer waters?

Is the mud on the sides of his lodge a sign of his activity or is it the receding water marks?

Collection of all 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.

BEAVER – Chapter 20 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Paddy and Sammy Jay Become True Friends

Paddy the Beaver floated in his pond and grinned at Old Man Coyote, who had so nearly caught him. Old Man Coyote fairly danced with anger on the bank. He had felt so sure of getting his meal that time that it was hard to believe that Paddy had really gotten away from him. He bared his long teeth and he looked very fierce.

“Come on in; the water’s fine!” called Paddy knowing that Old Man Coyote would not venture into the water. Paddy knew perfectly well that he was absolutely safe. He had had to be on the watch for days lest he should be caught, and so he hadn’t been able to work quite so well as he could have done with nothing to fear, and he still had a lot of preparations to make for winter. So he told Old Man Coyote he should have never left a footprint in the mud to give himself away and it was now time for him to go away.

Sammy Jay, who had stayed and watched the whole thing, nodded in agreement.

Old Man Coyote was frustrated for he couldn’t catch either Paddy or Sammy for one was at home in the water and the other was at home in the air and he couldn’t follow in either place. Finally he saw it was of no use to stay there, so, muttering and grumbling, he started for the Green Meadows.

As soon as he was out of sight Paddy turned to Sammy Jay.

“Mr. Jay,” he said, knowing how it pleased Sammy to be called mister, “Mr. Jay, you have done me a mighty good turn today, and I am not going to forget it. Mr. Jay you saved my life”.

Now this made Sammy feel very proud and very happy. He flew down on the stump of one of the trees Paddy had cut. “Let’s be friends,” he said.

“Yes, yes indeed – the best of friends!” replied Paddy.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 21


BEAVER Video #37

BEAVER Video #38

 The aftermath of the raging river and the exposed beaver lodge has me wondering – where is Paddy the Beaver?

Due to heavy rains there is a break in the dam just below the lodge, the food stash of sticks is stuck to one side of the dam, and the water level is actually getting low.

Is Paddy the Beaver still here?

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.

BEAVER – Chapter 19 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Old Man Coyote Tries Another Plan

For three nights Old Man Coyote had stolen up through the Green Forest with the coming of the Black Shadows and had hidden among the aspen trees where Paddy the Beaver cut his food, and for three nights Paddy had failed to come ashore. Each night he had seemed to have enough food logs in the water to keep him busy without cutting more. Old Man Coyote lay there, and the hungry look in his eyes changed to one of doubt and then to suspicion. Could it be that Paddy the Beaver was smarter than he thought? It began to look very much as if Paddy knew perfectly well that he was hiding there each night. For three nights Paddy hadn’t cut a single tree, and yet each night he had plenty of food logs ready to take to his storehouse in the pond.

“That means that he comes ashore in the daytime and cuts his trees,” thought Old Man Coyote, tired and frustrated, he trotted home the third night. “He couldn’t have found out about me himself. It must be that some one has told him. And nobody knows that I have been over there except Sammy Jay. It must be he who has told on me. I think I’ll visit Paddy by daylight tomorrow, and then we’ll see!”

That afternoon Old Man Coyote tried his new plan. He slipped into the Green Forest, looking this way and that way to be sure that no one saw him. Then very, very softly, he crept up through the Green Forest towards the pond of Paddy the Beaver. As he drew near, he heard a crash, and it made him smile. He knew what it meant. It meant that Paddy was at work cutting down trees. With his stomach almost on the ground, he crept forward little by little, little by little, taking the greatest care not to rustle so much as a leaf. Presently he reached a place where he could see the aspen trees, and there sure enough was Paddy, sitting up on his hind legs and hard at work cutting another tree.

Old Man Coyote lay down for a few minutes to watch. Then he wriggled a little nearer. Slowly and carefully he drew his legs under him and made ready for a rush. Paddy the Beaver was his at last! At just that very minute a harsh alarm rang out right over his head “Jaay-Jaay!”

It was Sammy Jay, who had silently followed him all the way. Paddy the Beaver didn’t stop to even look around. He knew what that alarm meant, and he scrambled down his little path to the water as he never had scrambled before. And as he dove in with a great splash, Old Man Coyote landed with a great jump on the very edge of the pond.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 20


BEAVER Video #35

BEAVER Video #36

How will Paddy the Beaver get this tree down?

Mother Nature made her next move and the tree is now solidly on the ground, off of the timber pedestal, with the limbs still stuck up above. 

Simply speechless as the river waters rage down the beaver channel, past the lodge, and break apart the dam.

We’ve had many days of above average temperatures that caused early snow melt in the middle of winter followed by heavy rain (vs. snow) all converging at once.

Paddy may need to select a better location for his home, perhaps create a channel that is a bit further from the river, as this one floods too often.

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.

BEAVER – Chapter 18 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Old Man Coyote Waits a Long Time

Old Man Coyote lay stretched out in his favorite napping place on the Green Meadows. He was thinking of how just that morning he had discovered that Paddy the Beaver was living up in the Green Forest. Old Man Coyote’s thoughts seemed very pleasant to himself, although really they were very dreadful thoughts. You see, he was thinking how easy it was going to be to catch Paddy the Beaver, and what a splendid meal he would make. This thought made him lick his chops.

“He doesn’t know I know he’s here,” thought Old Man Coyote. “In fact, I don’t believe he even knows that I am anywhere around. Of course, he won’t be watching for me. He cuts his trees at night, so all I will have to do is hide right close by where he is at work, and he’ll walk right into my mouth. Sammy Jay knows I was up there this morning, however Sammy sleeps at night so he will not sound the alarm. My, my, how good that Beaver will taste!” He licked his chops once more, then yawned, and closed his eyes for a nap.

Old Man Coyote waited until jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had gone to bed behind the Purple Hills and the Black Shadows had crept out across the Green Meadows. Then, keeping in the darkest of them, and looking very much like a shadow himself, he slipped into the Green Forest. He made straight for Paddy’s new pond, trotting along swiftly without making a sound. When he was near the aspen trees which he knew Paddy was planning to cut, he crept forward very slowly and carefully. Everything was still as still could be.

“Good!” thought Old Man Coyote. “I am here first, and now all I need to do is to hide and wait for Paddy to come ashore.”

So he stretched himself flat behind some brush close beside the little path Paddy had made up from the edge of the water and waited. It was very still, so still that it seemed almost as if he could hear his heart beat. He could see the little stars twinkling in the sky and their own reflections twinkling back at them from the water of Paddy’s pond. Old Man Coyote waited and waited. He is very patient when there is something to gain by it. For such a splendid dinner as Paddy the Beaver would make he felt that he could well afford to be patient. So he waited and waited, and everything was as still as if no living thing but the trees were there. Even the trees seemed to be asleep.

At last, after a long, long time, he heard just the faintest splash. He pricked up his ears and peeped out on the pond with the hungriest look in his yellow eyes. There was a little line of silver coming straight towards him. He knew that it was made by Paddy the Beaver swimming. Nearer and nearer it drew. Old Man Coyote chuckled way down deep inside, without making a sound. He could see Paddy’s head now, and Paddy was coming straight in, as if he hadn’t a fear in the world.

Almost to the edge of the pond swam Paddy. Then he stopped. In a few minutes he began to swim again, and this time it was back in the direction of his house, and he seemed to be carrying something. It was one of the little food logs he had cut that day, and he was taking it out to his storehouse. Then back he came for another. And so he kept on, never once coming ashore. Old Man Coyote waited until Paddy had carried the last log to his storehouse and then, with a loud whack on the water with his broad tail, he dove and disappeared in his house.

Then Old Man Coyote rose up, deeply disappointed, and started out to look elsewhere for his dinner.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 19


BEAVER Video #33

BEAVER Video #34

 Timberrrrrrr Take 2!

Paddy the Beaver has managed to balance his work beyond belief leaving just a few bites undone!

It was so tempting to walk over and just push this tree over, however I left it to unfold naturally with Paddy and Mother Nature writing the story.


Here is more of this magic act seen a few days later from every angle.

The tree is only resting on a few thin branches up above and really just needs one good push from Old Mother West Wind.

Stay Tuned!

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.

BEAVER – Chapter 17 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Old Man Coyote is Very Crafty

Old Man Coyote has one of the craftiest brains of all the little people of the Green Forest or the Green Meadows. Sharp as the wits are of old Granny Fox, Old Man Coyote is sharper. If you want to fool him, you will have to get up very early in the morning, and then it is more than likely that you will be the one fooled, not he. There is very little going on around him that he doesn’t know about. Once in a while something does escape him though. The coming of Paddy the Beaver to the Green Forest was one of these things. He didn’t know a thing about Paddy until Paddy had finished building his dam and his house and was cutting his supply of food for the winter.

You see when the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West Wind first heard what was going on in the Green Forest and hurried around over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest to spread the news, as is their way, they took the greatest pains not to even hint it to Old Man Coyote because they were afraid that he would make trouble and perhaps drive Paddy away. The place that Paddy had chosen to build his dam was so deep in the Green Forest that Old Man Coyote seldom went that way. So it was that he knew nothing about Paddy, and Paddy knew nothing about him for some time.

After a while Old Man Coyote noticed that the little people of the Green Meadows were not about as much as usual. They seemed to have a secret of some kind. He mentioned the matter to his friend, Digger the Badger.

Digger had been so intent on his own work that he hadn’t noticed anything unusual, except when Old Man Coyote mentioned the matter he remembered that he had seen Sammy Jay in a great hurry heading straight for the Green Forest every morning.

“That’s all I need to know, friend Digger,” Old Man Coyote said with a grin. “When Sammy Jay visits a place more than once, something interesting is going on there. I think I’ll take a stroll up through the Green Forest and have a look around.”

With that, off Old Man Coyote started. However, he was too sly and crafty to go straight to the Green Forest. He pretended to hunt around over the Green Meadows just as he usually did, all the time working nearer and nearer to the Green Forest. When he reached the edge of it, he slipped in among the trees, and when he felt sure that no one was likely to see him, he began to run this way and that way with his nose to the ground.

“A-ha!” he exclaimed, “Reddy Fox has been this way lately.”

Pretty soon he found another trail. “So,” he said, “Peter Rabbit has been over here a good deal of late, and his trail goes in the same direction as that of Reddy Fox. I guess all I have to do now is to follow Peter’s trail, and it will lead me to what I want to find out.”

So Old Man Coyote followed Peter’s trail, and he came directly to the pond of Paddy the Beaver. “A-ha!” he said, as he looked out and saw Paddy’s new house. “So there is a newcomer to the Green Forest! I have always heard that Beaver is very good eating. My stomach begins to feel empty this very minute.” His mouth began to water and a hungry look shone in his yellow eyes.

It was just then that Sammy Jay saw him and began to sound the alarm at the top of his lungs so that Paddy the Beaver over in his house heard him. Old Man Coyote knew that it was of no use to stay longer with Sammy Jay about, so he took a hasty look at the pond and found where Paddy came ashore to cut his food. Then he started straight back for the Green Meadows. “I’ll just pay a visit here in the night,” he said, “and give Mr. Beaver a surprise while he is at work.”

And yet for all his cleverness, Old Man Coyote didn’t even notice that he had left a footprint in the mud.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 18


BEAVER Video #32


Oh my goodness! Today was the day! In the midst of a grey sloppy walk I saw Paddy the Beaver and boy was he CUTE!

He was working just below the dam and sat about 20 inches tall with his good size tail as his prop. He looked to be a 2-3 year old juvenile at about 40lbs tops all sopping wet.

He was 6 ft away from me down in the beaver canal and immediately jumped from below the dam up and over the layered logs and dove directly into the water swimming diagonally straight to the entrance of what I can now confirm is his lodge.

It all happened so fast (so no time for photos) and yet it was a spectacular site none-the-less!

I called out to him as I left letting him know I was so glad to finally meet him, even if briefly!

Yay, Paddy!

 Timberrrrrrr! Paddy the Beaver’s work includes a tricky balancing act!

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.

BEAVER – Chapter 16 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Sammy Jay Makes a Short Visit

Paddy the Beaver was hard at work. He had just cut down a good sized aspen tree and now he was gnawing it into short lengths to put in his food pile in the pond. As he worked, Paddy was doing a lot of thinking about the footprint of Old Man Coyote in the little patch of mud, for he knew that meant that Old Man Coyote had discovered his pond, and would be hanging around, hoping to catch Paddy off his guard. Paddy knew it just as well as if Old Man Coyote had told him so. That was why he was at work cutting his food supply in the daytime. Usually he works at night and he knew that Old Man Coyote knew it too.

“He’ll try to catch me then,” thought Paddy, “so I’ll do my working on land now and fool him.”

The tree he was cutting began to sway and crack. Paddy cut out one more big chip then hurried away to a safe place while the tree fell with a crash.

“Jaay-Jaay!” called a voice just behind Paddy.

“Hello, Sammy Jay!” said Paddy with a twinkle in his eye, “do you want to sit up in this tree while I cut it down?”

“No, I’d rather not,” said Sammy Jay, “I was just checking on you as I saw you had an unannounced visitor this morning.”

“And who would that be?” asked Paddy, pretending to be a bit alarmed.

Sammy didn’t get a chance to respond. Crack! Over fell the tree Paddy had been cutting and the top of it fell straight into the alder in which Sammy was sitting. “Oh! Oh, my goodness!” Sammy cried, spreading his wings and flying away all flustered.

Paddy sat down and laughed until his sides ached. “Come make me another call some day and stay awhile Sammy!” he said. “And by the way, I know all about Old Man Coyote. You can tell him for me that when he is planning to catch people he should be careful not to leave footprints to give himself away.”


BEAVER Video #31

A possible beaver lodge has emerged along the beaver canal as a 3ft tall stick and mud pile now sits above the water line.

There has been melting ice in the beaver canal due to warm days with over 33 trees down to date and some floating pieces in the water. Paddy’s still been busy!

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.