BEAVER – Chapter 15 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 15

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.”


BONUS

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.


BEAVER – Chapter 14 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 14

The Funny Food Storehouse


Everybody knew that Paddy the Beaver was laying up a supply of food for the winter, and everybody thought it was a funny kind of food. That is, everybody except Prickly Porky the Porcupine. Prickly Porky likes the same kind of food, and yet he never lays up a supply. He just goes out and gets it when he wants it, winter or summer. And what kind of food was it you might be wondering? It was bark, the bark of certain kinds of trees.

Now Prickly Porky can climb the trees and eat the bark right there, and Paddy the Beaver cannot, and if he should just eat the bark that he can reach from the ground it would take such a lot of trees to keep him filled up that he would soon spoil the Green Forest. When the bark is taken off a tree all the way around in a circle, the tree dies. That is because all the things that a tree draws out of the ground to make it grow and keep it alive are carried up from the roots in the sap, and the sap cannot go up the tree trunks and into the branches when the bark is taken off, because it is up the inside of the bark that it travels. So when the bark is taken from a tree all the way around the trunk, the tree just starves to death.

Now Paddy the Beaver loves the Green Forest dearly. You see, it is his home. Besides, Paddy never is wasteful. So he cuts down a tree so that he can get all the bark off of one instead of taking a little bark off of many. The bark he likes best is from the aspen. When he cannot get that, he will eat the bark from the poplar, the alder, the willow, and even the birch. He likes the aspen so much better than all the rest that he will work very hard to get it.

There were some aspen trees growing right on the edge of the pond Paddy had made in the Green Forest. These he cut just as he had cut the trees for his dam. As soon as a tree was down, he would cut it into short lengths, and with these swim out to where the water was deep, close to his new house. He took them one by one and carried the first ones to the bottom, where he pushed them into the mud just enough to hold them. Then, as fast as he brought more, he piled them on the first ones. And so the pile grew and grew.

Jerry Muskrat, Peter Rabbit, Bobby Coon, and the other little people of the Green Forest watched him with the greatest interest and curiosity. They couldn’t quite make out what he was doing. It was almost as if he were building the foundation for another house.

“What’s he doing, Jerry?” asked Peter, when he could keep still no longer.

“I don’t exactly know,” replied Jerry. “He said that he was going to lay in a supply of food for the winter, just as I told you, and I suppose that is what he is doing. I don’t quite understand what he is taking it all out into the pond for. I believe I’ll go ask him.”

“Please do, and then come share with us,” requested Peter, who was growing so curious that he couldn’t sit still.

So Jerry swam out to where Paddy was so busy. “Is this your food supply, Cousin Paddy?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Paddy, crawling up on the side of his house to rest. “Yes, this is my food supply. Isn’t it splendid?”

“I guess it is,” replied Jerry, trying to be polite, “though I like lily roots and clams better. What are you going to do with it? Where is your storehouse?”

“This pond is my storehouse,” replied Paddy. “I will make a great pile right here close to my house, and the water will keep it nice and fresh all winter. When the pond is frozen over, all I will have to do is to slip out of one of my doorways down there on the bottom, swim over here and get a stick, and fill my stomach. Isn’t it handy?”

BONUS

BEAVER Video #27

BEAVER Video #28

 Brrrr! Cold temperatures in the single digits both day and night and Paddy the Beaver still continues to show-up and get his work done. He stays warm, in part, thanks to his fur coat and thick tail that stores fat to burn for the whole winter.


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 13 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 13

Why Paddy the Beaver Has a Broad Tail


Usually the thing that interests us most is something that we do not have and that is the way with Peter Rabbit. Mind you Peter is pretty well satisfied with what he has, which is quite as it should be. There is only one thing with which Peter is really dissatisfied, and it is only once in a while, and that one thing would be his tail. Yes indeed, that cute fluffy puff of a tail is the one thing that ever really troubles Peter.

You see, Peter’s tail is simply a funny little bunch of cotton, which doesn’t really look like a tail at all. The only time he ever sees it is when he has his back to the Smiling Pool and looks over his shoulder at his reflection in the water, and then, of course, he really doesn’t see his tail itself. So sometimes when Peter sees the tails of his neighbors, he wishes for just a little while that he had more of a tail too. Why, even little Danny Meadow Mouse has a full length tail, short as it is. And as for Happy Jack Squirrel and Reddy Fox and Bobby Coon and Jimmy Skunk, folks know what full fluffy tails they have. Once Peter thought about it so much that Grandfather Frog noticed how serious he was and asked Peter what the trouble was. When Peter told him that it seemed odd to him that Old Mother Nature had given him such a little tail when she had given others such long fluffy ones, Grandfather Frog just opened his big mouth and laughed until he had to hold his sides.

“Why, Peter,” he said, “you look so serious, that I thought you really had something to worry about. What would you do with a long fluffy tail, if you had one? It would always be in your way. Just think how many times Reddy Fox or old Granny Fox have almost caught you. They certainly would have before this, if you had had a long tail sticking out behind for them to get hold of. I had a long tail when I was a young tadpole, and I was mighty glad to get rid of it.”

After he heard that, Peter felt better. He didn’t lose interest in tails though, and he spent a great deal of time in wondering why some of his neighbors had big, bushy tails and some had long, slim tails and why he himself had almost no tail at all. So when Paddy the Beaver came to live in the Green Forest, and made a pond there by building a wonderful dam across the Laughing Brook, Peter couldn’t help notice what kind of a tail Paddy had, and the first time he got a really good look at it, his eyes almost popped out of his head. He just stared and stared. All he could think of was that great, broad, flat, thick tail, which is so unlike any tail he had ever seen or heard of.

The very next morning he hurried over to the Smiling Pool to tell Grandfather Frog about it. Grandfather Frog’s big, goggly eyes twinkled.

“Chug-a-rum!” he said. “Paddy the Beaver has one of the most useful tails I know of. Would you like to know how he comes by such a unique tail?”

“Oh, yes please Grandfather Frog! I didn’t suppose there was such a special tail in all the world, and I am curious as to what possible uses it can have. Do tell me about it!” cried Peter.

Presently Grandfather Frog cleared his throat two or three times and began to talk.

“Once upon a time, long, long ago, when the world was young—”

“It seems to me that everything wonderful happened long ago when the world was young,” interrupted Peter.

Grandfather Frog looked at Peter and Peter quietly settled in to hear the story without interrupting further.

“Once upon on a time, long, long ago, lived Mr. Beaver, the great-great-ever-so-great grandfather of Paddy up there in the Green Forest. Old Mr. Beaver was one of the hardest and smartest working of all of Old Mother Nature’s big family, just as Paddy is today. He always seemed happiest when he was busiest, and because he liked to be happy all the time, he tried to keep busy all the time.”

“Mr. Beaver was also very thrifty. He believed in preparing today for what might happen tomorrow, and so when he had all the food he needed for the present, he stored away food for the time when it might not be so easy to get. And Mr. Beaver believed in helping himself and did not leave everything up to Old Mother Nature to do for him. That is how he first came to think of making a dam and a pond. Like his small cousin, Mr. Muskrat, he was very fond of the water, and felt most at home and safest there. Although he found that sometimes the food which he liked best, which was the bark of certain kinds of trees, grew some distance from the water, and it was the hardest kind of work to roll and drag the logs down to the water, where he could eat the bark from them in safety.”

“He thought about this a great deal, and instead of going to Old Mother Nature and complaining, he studied and studied to find some way to make the work easier. One day he noticed that a lot of sticks had caught in the stream where he made his home, and that because the water could not work its way between them as fast as where nothing hindered it, it made a little pool just above the sticks. That made him think harder than ever. He brought some of the logs and sticks from which he had gnawed the bark and fastened them with the others, and right away the pool grew bigger. The more sticks he added, the bigger the pool grew. Mr. Beaver had discovered what a dam is for and how to build it.”

“‘Why, if I make a pond at the place nearest to my food trees,’” thought Mr. Beaver, “ ‘I can carry the water to the trees instead of the trees to the water; and that will be easier and ever so much safer as well. ‘ ”

“So Mr. Beaver built a dam at just the right place, while all the other little people watched and wondered why he was working so hard. Just as he had thought it would do, the dam made a pond, and the pond grew bigger and bigger, until it reached the very place where his food trees grew. Mr. Beaver built himself a big, comfortable house out in the pond, and then he went to work as hard as ever and he cut down trees and then cut them up into the right sized pieces to store away in his big food pile for the winter.”

“Now cutting down trees is very hard work. Mr. Beaver had to sit up on his hind legs to do it, and his legs grew very, very tired. In those days he had a tail very much like the tail of Jerry Muskrat. It was very useful when he was swimming and that was all. Sometimes he tried to brace himself with it—when he was sitting up to cut trees – however that didn’t work very well and so he stopped often to rest his aching legs which slowed down his work.”

“He was working just as usual one day when Old Mother Nature came along to see how he was getting on. She saw the new dam and the new pond, and she asked Mr. Beaver who had made them. He told her that he had and explained why. Old Mother Nature was greatly pleased to hear of his progress and stayed awhile to watch him cut a tree. She saw him try to brace himself with his tail and she saw him stop often to rest his aching tired legs.”

“‘That looks to me like pretty hard work,’” said Old Mother Nature.

“‘So it is,’ replied Mr. Beaver, stretching first one leg and then another. ‘Things worth having are worth working for,’ and with that he began cutting again.”

“‘You ought to have something to sit on,’” said Old Mother Nature, her eyes twinkling.

“Mr. Beaver nodded. ‘It would be very nice,’ he confessed, and went right on cutting without giving it a second thought.”

“Well the next morning he awoke to the greatest surprise of his life. He had a new tail! It was broad and thick and flat. It wasn’t like any tail he had ever seen or heard of. At first he didn’t know how to manage it, and yet when he tried to swim, he found that it was even better than his old tail for swimming. He hurried over to begin his day’s work, and there he made another discovery; his new tail was just the most splendid brace! It was almost like a stool to sit on, and he could work all day long without tiring his legs. Mr. Beaver was so very happy, and to show how happy he was, he worked harder than ever. And later he found that his new tail was just what he needed to pat down the mud with which he covered the roof of his house.”

“‘Why,’ he cried out with great joy, ‘I believe it is the most useful tail in all the world! Thank you Mother Nature!'”

“And that,” concluded Grandfather Frog, “is how Mr. Beaver came by his broad tail. And ever since that long-ago day, all Beavers have had broad tails.”

BONUS

BEAVER Video #25

BEAVER Video #26

 Awwww SNAP! Paddy’s work has a set back as the tree he was gnawing snaps during a heavy wind, rain, and snow storm and has left this tree in a precarious position. Will he try to take it down or move on?

 Old Dam – New Dam

The recent heavy rain and snow storm washed away parts of Paddy’s first dam and so he has now built a second dam further up the beaver canal, roughly 6 feet or so from the original location as well as approximately 6 feet across.


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 12 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 12

Jerry Muskrat Learns Something


Of course Peter told every one he met that Paddy the Beaver was building his house in a curious manner, and that Jerry Muskrat, who builds his house in the Smiling Pool and ought to know, said it was so too.

So whenever they got the chance, the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows would steal up to the shore of Paddy’s new pond and sit and wonder as they looked out at the great pile of sticks and mud which Paddy had built for a house, in which it looked as if he had forgotten to make a room.

Jerry and Peter sat in the moonlight talking it over. Paddy had stopped bringing sticks for his wall. He dove down out of sight, and he was gone a long time. Suddenly Jerry noticed that the water had grown very, very muddy all around Paddy’s new house. He wrinkled his brows trying to think what Paddy could be doing. Presently Paddy came up for air. Then he went down again, and the water grew muddier than ever. This went on for a long time. Every little while Paddy would come up for air and a few minutes of rest. Then down he would go, and the water would grow muddier and muddier.

At last Jerry could stand it no longer. He just had to see what was going on. He slipped into the water and swam over to where the water was muddiest. Just as he got there up came Paddy.

“Hello, Cousin Jerry!” he said. “I was just going to invite you over to see what you think of the inside of my house. Just follow me.”

Paddy dove, and Jerry dove after him. He followed Paddy in at one of the three doorways under water and up a smooth hall right into the biggest, nicest bedroom Jerry had ever seen in all his life. He just gasped in sheer surprise. Here he was in this splendid great room up above the water, and he had been so sure that there wasn’t any room at all! He just didn’t know what to make of it!

Paddy’s eyes twinkled. “Well,” he said, “what do you think of it?”

“I–I–think it is splendid, just perfectly splendid! However, I don’t understand it at all, Cousin Paddy. Where is that great pile of mud I helped you build in the middle?” Jerry said sounding quite confused.

“Why, I’ve dug it all away. That’s what made the water so muddy,” replied Paddy.

“Well why did you build it in the first place?” Jerry persisted.

“Because I had to have something to rest my sticks against while I was building my walls,” replied Paddy. “When I got the tops fastened together for a roof, they didn’t need a support any longer, and then I dug it away to make this room. I couldn’t have built such a big room any other way.”

“A-mazing,” said Jerry.

BONUS

BEAVER Video #23

BEAVER Video #24

 Paddy has stepped out of his lodge and made his mark again with a tail trail to the open and flowing river even though the beaver canal is all iced over.

Beaver canal all iced over after many days and nights with frigid temperatures.

 Rising water levels have impacted the beaver dam and the river after a heavy 24 hour winter rain storm passes through.


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 11 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 11

Peter Rabbit and Jerry Muskrat Are Puzzled


Jerry Muskrat took Paddy up on his invitation and visited every night to watch Paddy at work building his new home. Peter Rabbit was there too and so one night Jerry swam over to see what Peter thought of the building project. As Jerry approached he found Peter sitting up very straight and staring with big round eyes at the platform of mud and sticks out in the water where Paddy the Beaver was at work.

“Well, Peter, what do you think of it?” asked Jerry.

“What is it?” asked Peter with great curiosity. “Is it another dam?”

Jerry chuckled a bit to himself and then exclaimed “Why it’s Paddy’s new house!”

“Wow – I didn’t know that that pile of mud and sticks is meant for a house!” Peter said with even greater curiosity and amazement, ”it certainly doesn’t look it. Where is the door?”

“Well, this is what I can tell you,” replied Jerry, “it has a door all right. In fact, it has three doors. You can’t see them because they are under water, and there is a passage from each right up through that platform of mud and sticks, which is the foundation of the house. It really is a very fine foundation, Peter; it really is. I just can’t figure out why Paddy is building that great pile of mud right in the middle. When he gets his walls built, where will his bedroom be? There doesn’t look to be much room for him at all.”

Peter scratched his head and then pulled his whiskers thoughtfully as he gazed out at the pile in the water where Paddy the Beaver looked like he was piling sticks.

Now all this time Paddy had been hard at work. He was bringing the longest branches which he had cut from the trees out of which he had built his dam, and a lot of slender willow and alder poles. He pushed these ahead of him as he swam. When he reached the foundation of his house, he would lean them against the pile of mud in the middle with their big ends resting on the foundation. So he worked all the way around until by and by the mud pile in the middle couldn’t be seen. It was completely covered with sticks, and they were cunningly fastened together at the tops.

BONUS

BEAVER Video #21

BEAVER Video #22

 Paddy the Beaver has been leaving clues of his work with both a tail trail off in the distance heading for the river (far right) and breaking through ice holes in the beaver canal (bottom center).

 Munch, munch, munch, Paddy the Beaver taste tests his lunch!


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 10 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 10

Paddy Starts His New Home


Jerry Muskrat was very much interested when he found that Paddy the Beaver, who, you know, is his cousin, was building a house. Jerry is a house builder himself. His house was down in the Smiling Pool, and Jerry thought it a very wonderful house indeed, and was very proud of it. It was built of mud and sod and little alder and willow twigs and bulrushes. Jerry had spent one winter in it, and he had decided to spend another there after he had fixed it up a little. So, as long as he didn’t have to build a brand new house, he could afford the time to watch his cousin Paddy. Perhaps, he hoped, Paddy would ask his advice.

However, Paddy did nothing of the kind. So Jerry sat on the end of an old log and watched Paddy work. The first thing to build was the foundation. This was of mud and grass with sticks worked into it to hold it together. Paddy dug the mud from the bottom of his new pond. And because the pond was new, there was a great deal of grassy sod there, which was just what Paddy needed. It was very convenient.

Jerry watched a little while and then, because Jerry is a worker himself, he just had to get busy and help. Rather timidly he told his big cousin that he would like to help in building the new house.

“All right,” replied Paddy, “that will be fine. You can bring mud while I am getting the sticks and grass.”

So Jerry, happy to help, dove down to the bottom of the pond and dug up mud and piled it on the foundation. The little stars looked down and twinkled merrily as they watched the two workers. So the foundation grew and grew down under the water. Jerry was very much surprised at the size of it. It was ever and ever so much bigger than the foundation for his own house. You see, he had forgotten how much bigger Paddy is than he.

Each night Jerry and Paddy worked, resting during the daytime. Occasionally Bobby Coon or Reddy Fox or Unc’ Billy Possum or Jimmy Skunk would come to the edge of the pond to see what was going on. Peter Rabbit came every night. They couldn’t see much though because, you know, Paddy and Jerry were working under water.

At last Peter was rewarded for his patience. There, just above the water, was a splendid platform of mud and grass and sticks. A great many sticks were carefully laid as soon as the platform was above the water, for Paddy was very particular about this. You see, it was to be the floor for the splendid room he was planning to build. When it suited him, he began to pile mud in the very middle.

Jerry puzzled and puzzled over this. Where was Paddy’s room going to be, if he piled up the mud that way? He didn’t like to ask questions though, so he kept right on helping. Paddy would dive down to the bottom and then come up with double handfuls of mud, which he held against his chest. He would scramble out onto the platform and waddle over to the pile in the middle, where he would put the mud and pat it down. Then back to the bottom for more mud.

And so the mud pile grew and grew, until it was quite two feet high. “Now,” said Paddy, “I’ll build the walls, and I guess you can’t help me much with those. I’m going to begin them tomorrow night. Perhaps you will like to see me do it, Cousin Jerry.”

“I certainly would,” replied Jerry, still puzzling over that pile of mud in the middle.

BONUS

BEAVER Video #19

BEAVER Video #20

 Beaver Tail Trail WITH Paw Prints!

Typically Paddy’s paw prints are wiped out when his tail passes by so this was a rare treat.

Fairly recent beaver footprints dusted with snow.

 Paddy the Beaver has been busy with construction work along the river’s edge.


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 9 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 9

Paddy Plans a House


Paddy the Beaver sat on his dam, and his eyes shone with happiness as he looked out over the shining water of the pond he had made. All around the edge of it grew the tall trees of the Green Forest. It was very beautiful and very still. Paddy the Beaver always finds company in the trees and flowers and all the little plants.

It continued to be still, very, very still. Over on one side was a beautiful rosy glow in the water. It was the reflection from jolly, round, red Mr. Sun. Paddy couldn’t see him because of the tall trees, and yet he knew exactly what Mr. Sun was doing. He was going to bed behind the Purple Hills. Pretty soon the little stars would come out and twinkle down at him. He loved the little stars and always watched for the first one.

Yes, Paddy the Beaver was very happy. He would have been perfectly happy except for one thing: Farmer Brown’s boy had found his dam and pond that very afternoon, and Paddy wasn’t quite sure what Farmer Brown’s boy might do. He had kept himself hidden while Farmer Brown’s boy was there, and he felt quite sure that Farmer Brown’s boy didn’t know who had built the dam. And for this very reason he might, he just might, try to find out all about it, and that would mean that Paddy would have to be always on the watch.

“Ah well what’s the use of worrying over troubles that haven’t come yet, and may never come? Time enough to worry when they do come,” Paddy wisely said to himself. “The thing for me to do now is to get ready for winter, and that means a great deal of work,” he continued. “Let me see, I’ve got to build a house, a big, warm house, where I will be safe when my pond is frozen over. And I’ve got to lay in a supply of food with enough to last me until gentle Sister South Wind comes to prepare the way for lovely Mistress Spring. My, my, I can’t afford to be sitting here dreaming, when there is such a lot to be done!” And with that Paddy slipped into the water and swam all around his new pond to make sure of the best place to build his new house.

So now, although he was quite positive just where his house should be, he swam around the pond again to make doubly sure. Then, when he was quite satisfied, he swam over to the place he had chosen. It was where the water was quite deep.

“There mustn’t be the least chance that the ice will ever get thick enough to close up my doorway,” he said, “and I’m sure it never will here. I must make the foundations strong and the walls thick. I must have plenty of mud to plaster with, and inside, up above the water, I must have the snuggest, warmest room where I can sleep in comfort. This is the place to build it, and it is high time I was at work.”

With that Paddy swam over to the place where he had cut the trees for his dam, and his heart was light, for he was happy to continue his work and play by making his home.

BONUS

BEAVER Video #17

BEAVER Video #18 (silent) 

BEAVER Video #18 (narrated)

 Ssssh! Let’s silently follow the beaver tail trail through the snow and sunshine. AMAZING!

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 8 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 8

Peter Rabbit Takes a Swim


Farmer Brown’s boy sat with his chin in his hands staring at the new pond in the Green Forest and at the dam which had made it. That dam puzzled him. Who could have built it? What did they build it for? Why hadn’t he heard them chopping? He looked at the stump of one of the nearby trees, and then a still more puzzled look made deep furrows between his eyes. It looked very much as if teeth, and not an axe, had cut down that tree. Farmer Brown’s boy stared and stared, his mouth gaping wide open. He looked so funny that Peter Rabbit, who was hiding under an old pile of brush close by, nearly laughed right out.

Peter didn’t laugh though for just that very minute something happened. Sniff! Sniff! That was right behind him at the very edge of the old brush pile, and every hair on Peter stood on end with fright.

“Bow, wow, wow!” It seemed to Peter that the great voice was right in his very ears. It frightened him so that he just had to jump. He didn’t have time to think. And so he jumped right out from under the pile of brush and of course right into plain sight. And the very instant he jumped there came another great roar behind him. Of course it was from Bowser the Hound. You see, Bowser had been following the trail of the boy, and since he always stops to sniff at everything he passes, he had been some distance behind. When he came to the pile of brush under which Peter was hiding he had sniffed at that, and of course he had smelled Peter right away.

Now when Peter jumped out so suddenly he had landed right at one end of the dam. The second roar of Bowser’s great voice frightened him still more, and he jumped right up on the dam. There was nothing for him to do now except go across, and it wasn’t the best of going. You see, it was mostly a tangle of sticks. Happy Jack Squirrel or Chatterer the Red Squirrel or Striped Chipmunk would have skipped across it without the least bit of trouble. Peter Rabbit however has no sharp little claws with which to cling to logs and sticks, and right away he was in a heap of trouble. He slipped down between the sticks, scrambled out, slipped again, and then, trying to make a long jump, he lost his balance and tumbled head over heels into the water!

Poor Peter Rabbit! He gave himself up for lost this time. He could swim only just a little and doesn’t like the water. He couldn’t dive and keep out of sight like Jerry Muskrat or Billy Mink. All he could do was to paddle as fast as his legs would go. The water had gone up his nose and down his throat so that he choked, and all the time he felt sure that Bowser the Hound would plunge in after him and catch him. And if he didn’t, why Farmer Brown’s Boy would simply wait for him to come ashore and then catch him.

However, Farmer Brown’s boy didn’t do anything of the kind. Instead he shouted to Bowser and called him away. Bowser didn’t want to come and yet very slowly he walked over to where Farmer Brown’s boy was sitting.

“You know it wouldn’t be fair, old fellow, to try to catch Peter now. It wouldn’t be fair at all, and we never want to do anything unfair, do we?” he said. Whether Bowser agreed or not he simply wagged his tail as if he did and sat down to watch Peter swim.

It seemed to Peter as if he never, ever would reach the shore, though really it was only a very little distance that he had to swim. When he did scramble out, he was a soggy looking Rabbit. He didn’t waste any time, and started for home as fast as he could go, lipperty–lipperty–lip.

“Well, I never!” exclaimed Sammy Jay, who had seen it all from the top of a pine tree. “Well, I never! I guess Farmer Brown’s boy is quite nice after all.”

BONUS

BEAVER Video #15

BEAVER Video #16

Guess who popped up out of the ice?

Paddy sure has been busy even with the 20 inches of snow from the latest storm!


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 7 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 7

Farmer Brown’s Boy Gets Another Surprise


Across the Old Pasture and on to the foot of the Mountain and back of the Green Forest tramped Farmer Brown’s boy. Ahead of him trotted Bowser the Hound, sniffing and snuffing for the tracks of Reddy or Granny Fox. Of course he didn’t find them, for Reddy and Granny hadn’t been up in the Old Pasture for a long time. He did find old Jed Thumper, the big gray Rabbit and gave him such a fright that old Jed didn’t look where he was going and almost ran headfirst into Farmer Brown’s boy.

“Hi, there, you old cottontail!” yelled Farmer Brown’s boy, and this frightened Old Jed still more, so that he actually ran right past his own castle of bull-briars without seeing it.

Farmer Brown’s boy kept on his way, chuckling at the sight of old Jed Thumper. Presently he reached the springs from which came the water that made the very beginning of the Laughing Brook. He expected to find them dry, for way down on the Green Meadows the Smiling Pool was nearly dry, and the Laughing Brook was nearly dry, and he had supposed that of course the reason was that the springs where the Laughing Brook started were no longer bubbling.

And yet they were! The clear cold water came bubbling up out of the ground just as it always had, and ran off down into the Green Forest in a little stream that would grow and grow as it ran and became the Laughing Brook. Farmer Brown’s boy took off his ragged old straw hat and scowled down at the bubbling water just as if he thought it had no business to be bubbling there.

He didn’t know what to think. Here were the springs bubbling away just as they always had. There was the little stream starting off down into the Green Forest with a gurgle that by and by would become a laugh, just as it always had. And yet down on the Green Meadows on the other side of the Green Forest there was no longer a Laughing Brook or a Smiling Pool. He felt as if he ought to pinch himself to make sure that he was awake and not dreaming.

“I don’t know what it means,” he said talking out loud, ”however I’m going to find out. There’s a reason for everything in this world and I’m going to find out what has happened to the Laughing Brook, even if it takes me a year!”

With that he started to follow the little stream which ran gurgling down into the Green Forest. He had followed that little stream more than once, and now he found it just as he remembered it. The farther it ran, the larger it grew, until at last it became the Laughing Brook, merrily tumbling over rocks and making deep pools in which the trout loved to hide. At last he came to the edge of a little open hollow in the very heart of the Green Forest. He knew what splendid deep holes there were in the Laughing Brook here, and how the big trout loved to lie in them because they were deep and cool. He was thinking of these trout now and wishing that he had brought along his fishing rod. He pushed his way through a thicket of alders and then Farmer Brown’s boy stopped suddenly and fairly gasped! He had to stop because there right in front of him was a pond!

He rubbed his eyes and looked again. Then he stooped down and put his hand in the water to see if it was real. There was no doubt about it. It was real water and a real pond where there never had been a pond before.

It was very still there in the heart of the Green Forest. It was always very still there, and yet it seemed stiller than usual as he tramped around the edge of this strange pond. He felt as if it were all a dream. He wondered if pretty soon he wouldn’t wake up and find it all untrue. However he didn’t, and so he kept on tramping until presently he came to a dam, a splendid dam of logs and sticks and mud. Over the top of it the water was running, and down in the Green Forest below he could hear the Laughing Brook just beginning to laugh once more. Farmer Brown’s boy sat down with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. He was almost too surprised to even think.

BONUS

BEAVER Video #13

BEAVER Video #14

The beaver dam is holding up to heavy rains and the water level continues to rise.

 The beaver dam is still holding with some water trickling out the bottom and a layer of ice extending the length of the beaver canal.


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 6 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 6

Farmer Brown’s Boy Grows Curious


Now it happened that the very day before Paddy the Beaver decided that his pond was big enough, and so allowed the water to run in the Laughing Brook once more, Farmer Brown’s boy took it into his head to go fishing in the Smiling Pool. Just as usual he went whistling down across the Green Meadows. Somehow, when he goes fishing, he always feels like whistling. Grandfather Frog heard him coming and dove into the little bit of water remaining in the Smiling Pool and stirred up the mud at the bottom so that Farmer Brown’s boy shouldn’t see him.

Nearer and nearer drew the whistle. Suddenly it stopped short as Farmer Brown’s boy had come in sight of the Smiling Pool or rather, it was what used to be the Smiling Pool. Now there wasn’t any Smiling Pool, for the very little pool left was too small and drained looking to smile. There were great banks of mud, out of which grew the bulrushes. The lily pads were forlornly stretched out towards the tiny pool of water remaining. Where the banks were steep and high, the holes that Jerry Muskrat and Billy Mink knew so well were plain to see. Over at one side stood Jerry Muskrat’s house completely out of water.

Somehow, it seemed to Farmer Brown’s boy that he must be dreaming. He never, never had seen anything like this before, not even in the very driest weather of the hottest part of the summer. He looked this way and looked that way. The Green Meadows looked just as usual. The Green Forest looked just as usual. The Laughing Brook – – -Aha! What was the matter with the Laughing Brook? He couldn’t hear it and that, you know, was very unusual.

He dropped his rod and ran over to the Laughing Brook. There wasn’t any brook just pools of water with the tiniest of streams trickling between. Big stones over which he had always seen the water running in the prettiest of little white falls were bare and dry. In the little pools minnows were darting about as he cast a shadow over the little water that was left.

Farmer Brown’s boy scratched his head in a puzzled way. “I don’t understand it,” he said. “I don’t understand it at all. Something must have gone wrong with the springs that supply the water for the Laughing Brook. They must have failed although I never have heard of such a thing happening before, and I really don’t see how it could happen.” He stared up into the Green Forest just as if he thought he could see those springs. Of course, he didn’t think anything of the kind. He was just turning it all over in his mind. “I know what I’ll do! I’ll go up to those springs this afternoon and find out what the trouble is,” he said out loud. “They are way over almost on the other side of the Green Forest, and the easiest way to get there will be to start from home and cut across the Old Pasture up to the edge of the Mountain behind the Green Forest. If I try to follow up the Laughing Brook now, it will take too long, because it winds and twists so much”.

With that, Farmer Brown’s boy went back and picked up his rod. Then he started for home across the Green Meadows, and for once he wasn’t whistling. You see, he was too busy thinking. In fact, he was so busy thinking that he didn’t see Jimmy Skunk until he almost stepped on him, and then he gave a frightened jump and ran.

Jimmy Skunk just grinned and went on about his business. It always tickles Jimmy to see people run away from him, especially people so much bigger than himself; they look so silly.

“I should think that they would have learned by this time that if they don’t bother me, I won’t bother them,” he muttered, as he rolled over a stone to look for fat beetles. “Somehow, folks never seem to understand me.”

BONUS

BEAVER Video #11

 BEAVER Video #12

 See “before” video of this quaking aspen near the beaver canal.

 See “after” video of what Paddy the Beaver has been up to – think munchy-lunchy!


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.