(cont. from pt 2)
Father and Son Beaver set out to the edge of the pond to get the supplies to repair their home.
“We need some good sappy birch to plug up the leaks. We should also get some pine to build support beams for the walls,” Bill said.
“We can’t use Pine Dad. You know mom objects to using fir,” Woody reminded.
“Oh, that’s right. Geesh, women can be so sensitive.” Bill thought about his options for a moment. “We can just get some kind of strong wood, like oak. It might not last all year, but it should hold up nicely.”
“Which pile should we start with?” Woody said, pointing to a couple of log piles on the pond.
“I’m tired of using this worn-out wood! Let’s start with that patch of aspen trees.”
“But Dad!” Woody cried, “We have to recycle. If everyone just chopped down all the trees, what would we have left? They take forever to grow.”
“Why is it that every other animal in this forest can make their home out of whatever tree they see fit; yet we should feel morally obligated to recycle dead logs? No one owns these woods! They belong to every creature.”
Bill continued to assert his point, “These other animals just twitter-twitter all day and wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it bit them in the tail feathers. I’m tired of getting bucked in the teeth while some pretty bird gets to live in the penthouse and reap all the benefits. Since Beavers work the hardest, Beavers should get the best!”
It was best not to argue with the man.
They cleared entire patches of birch, poplar, and ash trees for their varying sap strengths. They even cut down a couple of fruit and nut trees. They had enough wood to build a new dam all together. As they walked out of the thicket into the clearing, they came upon a mighty oak standing alone.
“This will do quite nicely,” Bill said.
“No, Dad, we can’t!” Woody urged. “This tree’s roots run really deep in the forest. You can’t cut it down!”
“What is so special about this tree? It is no more valuable than any of the other trees we cut down today,” Bill said matter-of-factly. “Except this tree will prove most worthy in our home; where it can actually be of use and not just sticking out of the ground.”
“But Dad,” Woody cried, “I grew up playing on these branches; Mom and I used to picnic here in the afternoons. This is our family tree; it means something to us.”
“Son, sometimes a tree is just a tree. If you are going to cry about it, go under that willow where I don’t have to look at you.”
So he did.
He wept under the sad branches as the sounds of his youth came crashing down around him.
The force of the fall hit him so hard, the pain in his heart thrust him from hiding. Exposed and faced with the truth, he felt compelled to run.
So he did.
Woody ran as fast and as far away as he could, from his father, and his ideals.
Stay tuned this week for the rest of the story.
Reflections in the Pond is a satirical, 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.