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The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver

Thornton W Burgess

Originally Published: 1917

Thornton W Burgess: The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver

Provided by AB Svenska Ljud Classica.
This ePUB EBook is released under a licence owned by AB Svenska Ljud Classica.
Source text and images are in the Public Domain.

 

First published: 1917. This ePUB publication: 2014

 

ISBN: 978-91-7639-400-7

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DEDICATION TITLE


Thornton W Burgess (1874-1965)

Thornton W Burgess

Thornton Waldo Burgess (January 14, 1874 – June 5, 1965) was a conservationist and author of children's stories. Burgess loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years in books and his newspaper column, "Bedtime Stories". He was sometimes known as the Bedtime Story-Man. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books and 15,000 stories for the daily newspaper column.

His outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, Old Mother West Wind, published in 1910, the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories. The characters in the Old Mother West Wind series include Peter Rabbit (briefly known as Peter Cottontail), Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Bobby Raccoon, Little Joe Otter, Grandfather Frog, Billy Mink, Jerry Muskrat, Spotty the Turtle, Old Mother West Wind and her Merry Little Breezes.

For his efforts, an Honorary Literary Degree was bestowed upon Burgess in 1938 by Northeastern University. The Museum of Science in Boston awarded him a special gold medal for "leading children down the path to the wide wonderful world of the outdoors". He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Permanent Wildlife Protection Fund.

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver is another in the long list of children’s books by Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the industrious and clever Paddy Beaver, a newcomer to the Green Forest, has encounters with Sammy Jay, Jerry Muskrat, Ol’ Man Coyote and other inhabitants of the Green Forest. Along the way, we learn how Paddy builds his dam and his house, and how he stores his food. We also learn little lessons about life, such as the importance of planning before doing, caring for Nature, trusting others, the benefits of working together and how wonderful it is to have a job one can sink one’s teeth into.

Source: WIKIPEDIA

Chapter III - Paddy Has Many Visitors


PADDY THE BEAVER knew perfectly well that he would have visitors just as soon as he began to build his dam. He expected a lot of them. You see, he knew that none of them ever had seen a Beaver at work unless perhaps it was Prickly Porky the Porcupine, who also had come down from the North. So as he worked he kept his ears open, and he smiled to himself as he heard a little rustle here and then a little rustle there. He knew just what those little rustles meant. Each one meant another visitor. Yes, Sir, each rustle meant another visitor, and yet not one had shown himself.

Paddy chuckled. "Seems to me that you are dreadfully afraid to show yourselves," said he in a loud voice, just as if he were talking to nobody in particular. Everything was still. There wasn't so much as a rustle after Paddy spoke. He chuckled again. He could just feel ever so many eyes watching him, though he didn't see a single pair. And he knew that the reason his visitors were hiding so carefully was because they were afraid of him. You see, Paddy was much bigger than most of the little meadow and forest people, and they didn't know what kind of a temper he might have. It is always safest to be very distrustful of strangers. That is one of the very first things taught all little meadow and forest children.

Of course, Paddy knew all about this. He had been brought up that way. "Be sure, and then you'll never be sorry" had been one of his mother's favorite sayings, and he had always remembered it. Indeed, it had saved him a great deal of trouble. So now he was perfectly willing to go right on working and let his hidden visitors watch him until they were sure that he meant them no harm. You see, he himself felt quite sure that none of them was big enough to do him any harm. Little Joe Otter was the only one he had any doubts about, and he felt quite sure that Little Joe wouldn't try to pick a quarrel. So he kept right on cutting trees, trimming off the branches, and hauling the trunks down to the dam he was building. Some of them he floated down the Laughing Brook. This was easier.

Now when the little people of the Smiling Pool, who were the first to find out that Paddy the Beaver had come to the Green Forest, had started up the Laughing Brook to see what he was doing, they had told the Merry Little Breezes where they were going. The Merry Little Breezes had been greatly excited. They couldn't understand how a stranger could have been living in the Green Forest without their knowledge. You see, they quite forgot that they very seldom wandered to the deepest part of the Green Forest. Of course they started at once as fast as they could go to tell all the other little people who live on or around the Green Meadows, all but Old Man Coyote. For some reason they thought it best not to tell him. They were a little doubtful about Old Man Coyote. He was so big and strong and so sly and smart that all his neighbors were afraid of him. Perhaps the Merry Little Breezes had this fact in mind, and knew that none would dare go to call on the stranger if they knew that Old Man Coyote was going too. Anyway, they simply passed the time of day with Old Man Coyote and hurried on to tell every one else, and the very last one they met was Sammy Jay.

Sammy was terribly put out to think that anything should be going on that he didn't know about first. You know he is very fond of prying into the affairs of other people, and he loves dearly to boast that there is nothing going on in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows that he doesn't know about. So now his pride was hurt, and he was in a terrible rage as he started after the Merry Little Breezes for the place deep in the Green Forest where they said Paddy the Beaver was at work. He didn't believe a word of it, but he would see for himself.

Chapter II - Paddy Plans a Pond


PADDY THE BEAVER was busy cutting down trees for the dam he had planned to build. Up in the woods of the North from which he had come to the Green Forest he had learned all about tree-cutting and dam-building and canal-digging and house-building. Paddy's father and mother had been very wise in the ways of the Beaver world, and Paddy had been quick to learn. So now he knew just what to do and the best way of doing it. You know a great many people waste time and labor doing things the wrong way, so that they have to be done over again. They forget to be sure they are right, and so they go ahead until they find they are wrong, and all their work goes for nothing.

But Paddy the Beaver isn't this kind. Paddy would never have leaped into the spring with the steep sides without looking, as Grandfather Frog did. So now he carefully picked out the trees to cut. He could not afford to waste time cutting down a tree that wasn't going to be just what he wanted when it was down. When he was sure that the tree was right, he looked up at the top to find out whether, when he had cut it, it would fall clear of other trees. He had learned to do that when he was quite young and heedless. He remembered just how he had felt when after working hard, oh, so hard, to cut a big tree, he had warned all his friends to get out of the way so that they would not be hurt when it fell, and then it hadn't fallen at all because the top had caught in another tree. He was so mortified that he didn't get over it for a long time.