(cont. from pt. 1)
“What happened?!” Bill asked as he walked into the dam.
“I was fixing my hair and I needed more water to see my reflection. But I only pulled one small sprig to fill the sink, just like you told me,” the young beaver made sure to add.
“No, Woody, I told you to walk the 3 feet out the door and look in the pond instead of jeopardizing the integrity of our home for your vanity,” Bill lectured. “So, what did you fix it with?”
“What do you mean?” the teenager asked confused.
“What did you do to stop the leak?” Bill spoke extra-long and waved his paws, mocking his son with his body language. Woody just stood there dumb founded.
“Did you weave in some more wicker or nail an oak plank down with some maple sap?”
“I didn’t fix it! If I had fixed it, I wouldn’t have needed to come and get you,” the words sarcastically rolled with his eyes.
When Bill stepped into the bathroom, his foot sank deep into a foot of water. “What are you waiting for? Come plug up this hole with your tail while I grab some tools. I’ll be back in just a minute; try not to break anything else while I’m gone!”
Woody had his back to the wall, for what seemed like an eternity. As he stood there sealing the leak with his tail, he wondered if anyone had ever really been back in ‘just a minute’.
More water began spraying a foot away. He reached over with his paw and plugged up the new leak. Then another sprang, and another. Woody was stretched all across the dam wall, precariously holding the holes with different parts of his body.
The walls of the dam started to bulge and bend and creak. Really close to Woody’s mouth, a pine cone started to shake and rattle. He stretched his teeth out as far as he could, trying desperately to prevent a new rupture while still holding the existing ones.
Pop! Just as he was coming around the corner, the pine cone shot out of the wall and hit Bill square in the eye.
“Stop messing around Woody! This is no time to eat. Get off that wall and come help me.”
When Woody stood up, the dam wall looked as if it was made of Swiss Cheese rather than wood.
“Oh Dear,” his mother said, when she came to check on all the commotion.
The Beaver family spent the better part of an hour patching the framework with moss, leaves, and twigs.
“Well, I’m off to go hang with Otto and Fin,” Woody said as he tried to leave the room.
“Oh, No you’re not! You are not hanging out with that pond scum while there is work to be done.”
“All we ever do is work, work, work; and for what? I want to live for more than these dam problems and this holey house. I’m tired of wasting my life away, I just want to be me.”
“Wasting your life is exactly what you are doing with those freeloaders. Beavers have always worked hard, it’s what we do,” his dad replied.
“A Beaver has got to do what a Beaver must, and being a Beaver you must always be.” Bill recited his trade motto with his head held high and his teeth bucked out.
“Now let’s get to work; these patches are not going to hold for long.”
“They never do,” Woody remarked.
Stay tuned this week for the rest of the story.
Reflections in the Pond is an allegorical satire and forest fable; where the only lessons you take from the story are the ones you are ready to learn.
(Your comments are greatly appreciated, as I haven’t written a story since grade school.)
Written for my niece: May you see something different every time you read it.
All posts in 1000 words are stories inspired by photos; this story inspired by the header pictures my husband took of a lakeside reflection.