Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the beaver pond!
One more beaver ending – can you handle it?
It seems one of my blogging buddies went to all the trouble of writing an ending and then forgot to post it. I mean, you'd thought she might have remembered to do this – after all, she hasn't got anything else to do. Oh, she might complain about birthday parties for five-year-olds, new puppies peeing on the new floors, 15-zillion young children to attend to and a good-looking husband to cater to his every whim. Oh, and she does, I'll tell ya, I've seen them in action – her all bowing all over the place in front of him, cooking his favourite meals, picking the broccoli out from between his teeth, calling him her Incredible Island God – y'know, that sort of thing. Poor thing, she is – all that and she manages to write Canada's Best Art & Culture Blog, plus some pretty fancy schmancy writing.
The good news about having one more beaver ending to read is that it was written by Canada's Sweetheart, Laurita Miller. That immediately turns it from being a chore to being something I should charge you for.
Lucky devils. Reading Laurita for free.
Oh, and if you're wondering what in tarnation I'm talking about, visit yesterday's beaver blog.
THAT NIGHT, ELIZABETH tried to concentrate on work, but the thought of those poor homeless beavers made it impossible. She thought of the home they’d built, the food they’d stored, and how it was all gone. They must be frantic, she thought.
Elizabeth looked at the papers on her desk. She knew a little about how those Beavers felt, working hard day in and day out, never really getting ahead. She found it easy to imagine how it would feel to have that all taken away.
There’re wasn’t much sign of the beavers for the rest of that week. Now and again there would be sounds down by the river, or those smooth dark shapes cutting through the water. Elizabeth hoped that they would make some attempt to rebuild, something to get them through the hard months of bitter cold. Each day that passed left her feeling less hopeful for their survival.
She knew that Vern felt the loss as well, though they no longer talked about it. He would sit and read in the evenings while Elizabeth immersed herself in her work. She missed the long evenings sitting out by the water, talking with Vern as the sun went down. How quickly things changed when you weren’t paying attention.
On Saturday morning, Vern gently shook Elizabeth awake. She rubbed her eyes and he pressed a hot cup of coffee into her hands.
“Come with me,” he said. “I have something to show you.” He was dressed in his warmest clothes, and smelled of the outdoors. He had obviously been up for some time.
Vern led Elizabeth through the woods behind their home, along the seldom travelled path. Elizabeth remembered when they would walk these trails on the weekends, laughing and talking. Sometimes they would take a picnic and spend the afternoon. She couldn’t remember the last time she had been in these woods.
They walked until they came to the part where the river curved around the back of their property. Vern moved slowly here, crouched low to look between the trees. He put his hand on Elizabeth’s back and pulled her close.
“Look there,” he said, and pointed toward the river.
On the far side on the bank was a large pile of twigs and branches – a beautifully constructed beaver lodge. There were some obvious renovations, with the clean yellow of freshly cut timber among the greyed and worn branches. They couldn’t see the dam, but the river had been nicely widened.
Elizabeth smiled. “They had a plan B after all.” She turned to Vern and pulled him into a hug. Suddenly she needed to feel the strength of his arms.
“I have something for you.” Vern pulled away and felt into his coat pockets. He passed the envelope to Elizabeth. “Two tickets,” he blurted before she had it completely open. “A cruise. Two weeks.” He fidgeted and rubbed his face with the back of his hand. “I think we can use the time away.”
Elizabeth stared, eyes and mouth open wide. Time alone, just the two of them, in the warm and the sun.
“How?” It was all she could manage to say.
Vern grinned, kissed her on the forehead. “Ahhh. Beavers aren’t the only ones with a plan B.”