Beverley and Eva – The Beaver Sisters
Otter was getting very concerned.
It had been raining for days and days, and nights and nights.
Usually, Otter loved the rain.
He liked dipping in the ponds and zipping in the streams.
He loved swimming in the rivers and lolling in the lakes,
even surfing on the sea and hanging out with seals.
But this time, Otter thought the clouds had been crying for much too long.
“It’s as if the clouds can see what’s wrong with the world but they don’t know how to make it better,” he sighed.
Badger, too, didn’t usually mind the rain.
It made the earthworms juicier. But Mole had mentioned that the ground was becoming much too damp, and the worms were complaining that if it was going to be this wet from now on, they might have to get plastic macs.
Badger took his family to see Otter who was lying down in the entrance of his holt. Badger shook his head and his umbrella, stomped his feet and complained,
“I don’t like it, I don’t like it one little bit,” he muttered, as he took off his wellington boots and poured out litres of water.
“I’m soaked and I’m soggy.” he said gloomily.
He pulled off his socks and wrang them out.
Otter’s children were laughing and frolicking in the deep puddles outside, but Badger’s kids were sniffling and wheezing, coughing and sneezing.
“What am I going to do?” cried Badger. “We can’t go back home. Our sett is filling up with water. The furniture’s floating and the television has exploded. We’ll have come to live with you.”
“Oh, but you can’t,” said Otter. “My home’s too small for all of your family. And anyway, I live all over the place. Sometimes I sleep in the riverbank. Sometimes in a den in the woods. Sometimes in the hollow of a tree.”
“Well, that’s just not good enough,” said Badger.
“Why not?” asked Otter
“Because I want all of my friends to come and stay too.”
And one after the other, more creatures appeared.
There was Shrew, Mole, Vole, Prickleball, Rabbit, and Fox.
“Goodness me!” exclaimed Otter. “What a lot of friends you have. Wait, I do know somewhere. There’s a cave above the river just around the bend. Let’s go there.”
All of the creatures, splished and sploshed as they waded towards the cave.
At last, thought they, they’d be somewhere sheltered, and they could get a fire going and dry their sodden fur.
One hour later, they’re all cosy in the dry warm cave, listening to the rain lashing outside, staring into the flames, drinking hot chocolate, and playing shadow puppets with their paws.
But suddenly Shrew squeaked, “Look there’s a trickle of water coming into the cave!”.
“Don’t worry”, said Otter, “Fox can mop it up with his tail.”
“I’d rather not”, said Fox, “I’ve only just got myself dry.”
But nobody ever listened to Fox.
“No!”, Shrew shrilly insisted, “You all don’t understand: the trickle will turn into a stream, the stream will become a river, the river will become a lake, the lake will become a sea, the sea will become an ocean, and we’ll all drown!”
“We could always make a boat,” suggested Fox. But no-one listened to him.
“Oh dear, we’re not safe anywhere,” said Badger. “Soon we’ll all drown.”
“Who can save us?” they all cried.
“Not me,” said Otter. “I’m good at catching fish, but not much else.”
“Not me,” said Mole. “I’m only good at worm wrestling.”
“Not me,” said Vole. “I’m just good at looking cute and twitching my whiskers.”
“Not me,” said Prickleball. “I’m only good at rolling up in a ball and being juggled by clowns at the circus.”
“Not me,” said Rabbit. “I’m only good at eating carrots and having large families.”
Fox didn’t say anything, and I bet that doesn’t surprise you by now.
“Not me, says Water Shrew, “but I know someone who can.”
“Who’s that?” said Otter.
“There used to be other animals who lived amongst us, but one day some creatures upset them, and they all went off in a strop, and never came back.”
“Who were they?”, Otter wondered.
“They were Beavers. They’re eco- engineers. They’ll know what to do.”
“But where are they now?” wondered Otter.
“They live on the great lake at the foot of the mountain”, squeaked Shrew. “Hurry, before it’s too late.”
Otter shot off like a torpedo through the rising waters until he came to the lake at the foot of the mountain.
He saw a conical lodge built of sticks, stones, and mud in the centre of the lake, and as he swam towards it, he saw Beverley and Eva, the Beaver sisters, resting on the decking, rolling up lily pads into the shape of a cigars, on which they began to nibble.
“Help, help! You’ve got to come quick. Shrew says you’ll know what to do to save our friends. Their homes are flooded or washed away. They’re all sodden and soggy.”
“Are these the same creatures who laughed at us and our family because of our goofy orange teeth and squashed flat tail?”
“I’m sure they didn’t mean it.”
“Oh, all right. We’ll forgive them. After all, we like to keep busy, and so do the rest of the team.”
The Beaver sisters slapped their tails on the surface of the water and called out,
“Come on, you bunch of eager Beavers.”
Immediately, dozens of Beavers popped their heads above water and reported for duty.
Upon hearing of the emergency, with a sense of urgency, they all ducked down below the waters and swam towards the cave.
Once outside, the Beavers donned yellow hard hats and hi-vis jackets. They did a quick recce of the area, then demarcated the danger zone with black and yellow tape. Then they surveyed the site, inspected the surrounding vegetation, height and width of trees etc., checked gradients and wind direction, and finally signed off on the health and safety assessment.
Then, they set to work. While some got their teeth into the lower parts of the trees, others sang to keep them company.
We’re a team of eager beavers.
Doing what we can
Felling trees with chisel teeth
To build a great tall dam.
A wall of wood with mud and stones
To prevent the flood
It’s our second nature
Building’s in our blood.
The trees come crashing down
Soon, you’ll be safe and sound.
We’re eco-system engineers
We’re brilliant for the planet
We can change the habitat
If you just let us plan it
We build dams and dig canals
We slow down the water
You should let us on your land
We can come and sort ya!
The trees come crashing down
Soon, you’ll all be safe and sound.
And very soon, a magnificent dam surrounded the cave, and the creatures were safe and sound in their sanctuary.
Eventually the wind blew the clouds away and a new day dawned.
When the waters receded, the Beavers made a hole in the dam and the creatures rushed out of the cave to thank their rescuers.
Otter proudly presented a whopping, fresh salmon to the Beavers, saying, “Tuck in. There’s plenty more where this came from!”, as a reward for all their hard work.
Upon seeing the great fish, Beverley and Eva put a paw to their mouths and retched.
“Yuk! Whoever told you we eat fish! We don’t each meat either. We’re herbivores. But we wouldn’t mind popping back into your cave for some hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows, please!”
Then, after having a good old sing song around the campfire, Fox asked.
“Would you like to stay longer? We’ve got a river and a little lake. You could build a lodge there. What do you think?”
And Shrew, Mole, Vole, Prickleball, and Rabbit, Otter and Badger all looked at Fox and said,
“What a good idea.”
And Beverley and Eva and all the other Beavers agreed.
© Clive PiG Word Count 1340 Version 29/11/2021