September

According to all the books I've read (enough to make me a believer)
There are very few creatures in the natural wild that match the ubiquitous beaver.
When a beaver colony gets over-crowded, some "almost-grown" beavers set out
To set up their own private habitat (instinctively, I have little doubt).

One morning a robust male beaver stood up and walked off from the pack
He was bound from Arkansas to an unknown place; and not once did he pause to look back.
For months he meandered westward, knowing not where his journey would end
It meant naught to him that it was Oregon where, by chance, he ran into a friend.

She, too, was an almost grown beaver; they paired up, and set off a-walkin'
They had traveled no more than a couple of yards, 'fore the female-type commenced to talkin'
"How far are we going? Will we get there soon? Are you brave enough to give me protection?
It's getting late - I'm hungry - let's rest; are you sure you picked the right direction?"

He just kept on walking, and not once replied; he was trying to sort out in his head
All the things he must do, by instinct alone, to keep him, her (and family) fed.
On westward they traveled, her talkin' the while; midst the birds and flowers and bees
Then it dawned on him all of a sudden: for days now, he hadn't seen any trees.

Trees are essential for a beaver clan; and he thought: "things ain't lookin' so good
We can do without orchids and sparrows and bees; but a beaver's GOT to have water and wood!"
One afternoon, late, they came to a cliff; poked their noses through the grass to surveil
What she saw really pleased her, she was quick to report; but he was shaken to the flat of his tail!

"It's PERFECT", she said; "don't you think so, too? It's got everything: you won't need my help"
He looked in dismay, and all he could see was sea gulls, beaches and kelp.
He had traveled for months now, without saying a word; the longest he could ever remember
Then finally, he spoke: "Yes, dear, it's perfect...it's got everything - 'cept TIMBER".

copyright 1994 Sam Elmore