The little girl dashed out of the house to where her grandfather was sitting.
“Grandfather, please tell me a story.”
Nina pleaded as she climbed up on her grandfather’s knee.
“Tell me the story about the White Beaver! Please, please, I like that story.”
“Ah, so you want to hear the story of the White Beaver, do you?” Grandfathers’ eyes twinkled as he slowly stroked his flowing white whiskers.
“Well, sit quietly then and listen. Listen carefully and look back a long time ago when Mother Earth was young and all things were new.”
Settling back comfortably in his chair, with Nina sitting expectantly on his knee. Grandfather began his story.
“It started out like any ordinary day in the forest. The sun rose in the East, lighting the underside of the clouds and turning them to gold. The birds sang their ‘good morning’ melodies to the forest animals. The bees humming, hurried from their honey tree to gather the sweet nectar from the flowers. The morning dew lay on the grass, sparkling like diamonds in the sunshine. The soft breeze blew gently through the trees, whispering ‘It’s morning’.
The deer, moose, and elk took their turns drinking from the sparkling clear stream that flowed into a large beaver dam. There were rabbits and raccoons, porcupines and skunks, wolves, coyotes, foxes and lynx, and marten and fisher, mink and otter and a number of smaller animals. Weasels, chipmunks, squirrels and mice darted between the legs of the taller animals and all around them. Animals had not yet learned to fear each other.
They were all having such a good time running and playing with each other in the warm sunshine, but then the bears came. They had just awakened from their long winter sleep and were grouchy, hungry and thirsty. A bear roared as he ambled over to the beaver dam to drink. The little animals darted for cover under the trees that the beaver had gnawed down. They were frightened. The moose, elk and deer leapt and darted away. Startled at the ferocious sound. The coyotes and foxes slunk off and the wolves moved to the side. They weren’t afraid, but they didn’t want to fight with Mr. Bear. He was so grouchy and he grumbled loudly as he picked at the sweet grass and lapped at the water.
A curious, beautiful brown beaver came swimming over to see what all the commotion was about. He climbed up onto the dam and watched while the bear circled . . . closer and closer. The wolves sat and watched too. They were curious to see what that bear was up to. The bear got even closer, pretending he didn’t see the beaver.
All of a sudden he gave a huge roar and leapt. . . . High in the air, and came down with a CRASH right on top of the beaver. The wolves got so excited that they began to howl, scaring the beaver even more than the bear had. The bear had made such a mighty leap and landed so hard that he knocked the wind out of himself. By the time he got his breath back the beaver had wiggled out from under him and shot into the water, slapping his tail on the water in alarm. He swam as fast as
he could to his house, dove down, and came up through the underwater entrance and into his house . . . SAFE. He sat for awhile, collecting his wits and trying to get over his fright.
‘What was wrong with that silly old bear anyway?’ He thought.
Soon Mrs. Beaver came into the house; she gave a startled ‘Mew’ Mr. Beaver wondered what was wrong with her, but when he happened to look down into the water he got another fright. His heart started pounding all over again. What was that white beaver doing in his house? He gave a great leap, his teeth snapping, to chase the intruding beaver away. SPLASH. He hit the water. He had jumped onto his own reflection.
That bear had scared him so badly that he had turned completely white. He felt so bad that he cried and cried over his missing brown coat. He cried so long and hard that his eyes turned pink and they stayed that way until the end of his life.
So, you see, that’s how a beautiful brown beaver happened to turn white. That’s why the odd time there will be a white beaver with pink eyes to this very day. It is
thought to be a lucky sign if you happen to see one, but, you must never try to catch a white beaver or you will have very bad luck.”
Nina’s eyes widened and as her grandfather finished the story,
“But Grandfather, what happened to the bear and all the other animals?”
“Why, the howling of the wolves scared the bear so bad that he randeep into the forest and wasn’t seen again.”
“What did the wolves do?” Nina wondered.
“Oh, they thought it was great sport that they could frighten that grumpy old bear like that, so they chased after him for a while, howling loudly and making the forest ring with their songs.”
“Did the other animals come back to the dam?”
Nina hoped they didn’t stay scared forever.
“Oh yes, very slowly, one at a time, being very careful not to get
too close to one another, they came out if hiding. The otter and mink slipped into the water and climbed up onto floating logs a safe distance from the bank of the beaver dam. The small animals scampered through the deep grass, poking their noses out between the small trees and willows. The deer, moose and
elk watched carefully as they drank, ready to bound off at the slightest
sound that was different.”
“Did the beaver come out again?” Nina asked.
“Eventually he did, but he felt so bad whenever he saw his reflection in the water in the daytime that he only came out at night. That’s why it is that one seldom sees a white beaver.”
“Oh, Grandfather, I like that story. I hope someday that I get to see a white beaver. I think he would be just as beautiful as his brown brothers. I’ll tell him not to be sad.”
“Someday maybe you will, when Father Time is done teaching us and Mother Earth is made new and clean. When all the animals will get along as they did when Mother Earth was young, before Mr. Bear got angry and tried to hurt the beaver, causing fear and distress among the animals.”
“Oh, Grandfather, I can hardly wait for that day.” Nina cried.
Nina’s grandfather replied, “Me too, my girl, me too.”
I have no idea why the first line of the first line of the story is so far above the rest???
Thanks,Donna, that fixed it :o))))