White-tailed Wonder of the Woods: A Deer’s Adventures

This will be my fifth winter walking in these woods and following the many deer tracks in the snow. It is such a joyful and P.L.A.Y.-ful activity to do on a cold winter’s day and it helps me to add variety to my daily walks by simply stepping alongside the hoofprints and seeing wherever the trail may take me.

On some outings I even discover coyote and turkey tracks right beside the deer tracks and I wonder at how this encounter looked or who came through first or last or if someone was being followed.

I’ve only actually seen the deer a few times up close as I approach the babbling brook and my sounds are muffled. More often I see them at a distance in the corn fields as I drive along the roadway out of town. Either way I am always thankful for knowing they are there in our fields and forest and also call this place home.



To give gratitude for the many years of awe and wonder this P.L.A.Y.-ful practice of tracking the white-tailed deer has provided I have created a new story series based on Thornton Burgess’ 1921 book The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer. It is a great way to introduce your family, and get curious together, to another local creature living on the land.

Look for new story chapters from

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer

to appear every

Tuesday + Thursday

for the remainder of 2020.

Time to P.L.A.Y.!!!

Enjoy!!!

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 24

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 44 <HERE> 

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

Signs of more beaver activity close-up: gnawing, woodchips, footprints, and missing branches.


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 23

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 42 <HERE> 

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

Video 43 <HERE>

Did Paddy the Beaver hang up his carpenter hat for the moment and 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 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 22

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 40 (longer) HERE + 40A (shorter) HERE

 Winter Wondering – Where’s Paddy the Beaver?

Ice chunks breaking up at the beaver channel impacting food storage +lodge.

Video 41 HERE

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

Close-up of the ice chunks breaking up at the beaver lodge entrance.


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 21

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.”


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


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.


Video 39 <HERE>

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 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 20

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 37 <HERE>

 The aftermath of the raging river and the exposed beaver lodge.

Where’s Paddy the Beaver?


Video 38 <HERE>

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 getting low.

Is Paddy the Beaver still here?


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 19

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 35 <HERE>

How will Paddy the Beaver get this one 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. 


Video 36 <HERE>

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 to converge at once.


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 18

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 33 <HERE>

 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.

 


Video 34 <HERE>

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 all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 17

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.


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


I SAW PADDY THE BEAVER!

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 (therefore no 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!


Video 32 <HERE>

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


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

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


Story + Local Videos



CHAPTER 16

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.”


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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 31 <HERE>

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

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 busy!


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 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.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.