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The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver

Get comfortable and ready to be soothed to sleep as Cory reads one of his favorite stories, The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess.

Let's settle in for a night of deep sleep with one of my favorite stories, The Adventures of Paddy, the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess. Work, work all the night while the stars are shining bright. Work, work all the day. I have got no time to play.

This little rhyme, Paddy, the beaver made up as he toiled at building the dam, which was to make the pond he so much desired deep in the Green Forest. Of course it wasn't true, that about working all night and all day. Nobody could do that, you know, and keep it up. Everybody has to rest and sleep. Yes, and everybody has to play a little bit to be at their best.

So it wasn't quite true that Paddy worked all day after working all night. But it was true that Paddy had no time to play. He had too much to do. He had had his play time during the long summer, and now he had to get ready for the long cold winter. Now, of all the little workers in the Green Forest, on the Green Meadows and in the smiling pool, none can compare with Paddy the Beaver, not even his cousin, Jerry Muskrat.

Happy Jack Squirrel and Stripe Chipmunk store up food for the long, cold months when rough Brother Northwind and Jack Frost rule. And Jerry Muskrat builds a fine house wherein to keep warm and comfortable. But all this is as nothing to the work of Paddy, the Beaver. As I said before, Paddy had had a long play time throughout the summer. He had wandered up and down the Laughing Brook.

He had followed it way up to the place where it started. And all the time he had been studying and studying to make sure that he wanted to stay in the Green Forest. In the first place, he had to be sure that there was plenty of the kind of food that he likes. Then he had to be equally sure that he could make a pond near where this particular food grew. Last of all, he had to satisfy himself that if he did make a pond and build a home, he would be reasonably safe in it.

And all these things he had done in his playtime. Now he was ready to go to work. And when Paddy begins work, he sticks to it until it is finished. He says that is the only way to succeed. And, you know, and I know that he is right.

Now Paddy the Beaver can see at night just as Ready Fox and Peter Rabbit and Bobby Raccoon can. And he likes the night best because he feels safest then. But he can see in the daytime too. And when he feels that he is perfectly safe and no one is watching, he works then too. Of course.

The first thing to do was to build a dam across the Laughing Brook, to make the pond he so much needed. He chose a low, open place deep in the Green Forest and the edge of which grew many young Aspen trees, the bark of which is his favorite food. Through the middle of this open place flowed the Laughing Brook. At the lower edge was just the place for a dam. It would not have to be very long.

And when it was finished and the water was stopped in the Laughing Brook, it would just have to flow over the low, open place and make a pond there. Paddy's eyes twinkled when he first saw it. It was right then that he made up his mind to stay in the Green Forest. So now that he was ready to begin his dam, he went up, the Laughing Brook to a place where alders and willows grew. And there he began work.

That work was the cutting of a great number of trees by means of his big front teeth, which were given him for just this purpose. And as he worked, Paddy was happy. For one can never be truly happy who does no work? Paddy the Beaver was busy, cutting down trees for the dam he had planned to build. Up in the woods of the north, from which he had come to the Green Forest, he had learned all about tree cutting and dam building and canal digging and house-building. Paddy's father and mother had been very wise in the beaver world and Paddy had been quick to learn.

So now he knew just what to do and the best way of doing it. You know, a great many people waste time and labor doing things the wrong way so that they have to be done over and over again. They forget to be sure they are right. And so they go ahead until they find they are wrong and all their work goes for nothing. But Paddy the Beaver isn't this kind.

Paddy would never have leaped into the spring with the steep sides without looking as Grandfather Frog did. So now he carefully picked out the trees to cut. He could not afford to waste time cutting down a tree that wasn't going to be just what he wanted when it was down. When he was sure that the tree was right, he looked up at the top to find out whether, when he had cut it, it would fall clear of other trees. He had learned to do that when he was quite young and heedless.

He remembered just how he had felt when after working hard, oh, so hard to cut a big tree, he had warned all his friends to get out of the way so that they would not be hurt when it fell. And then it hadn't fallen at all because the top had caught in another tree. He was so mortified that he didn't get over it for a long time. So now he made sure that a tree was going to fall clear and just where he wanted it. And he sat up on his hind legs, and with this great broad tail for a brace, began to make the chips fly.

You know, Paddy has the most wonderful teeth for cutting. They are long and broad and sharp. He would begin by making a deep bite. And then another, just a little way below. Then he would pry out the little piece of wood between.

When he had cut very deep on one side so that the tree would fall that way, he would work around to the other side. Just as soon as the tree began to lean and he was sure that it was going to fall, he would scamper away so as to be out of danger. He loved to see those tall trees lean forward slowly then faster and faster till they struck the ground with a crash. Just as soon as they were down, he would trim off the branches until the trees were just long poles. This was easy work for he could take off a good size branch with just one bite.

On many, he left their bushy tops. When he had trimmed them to suit him and had cut them into the right lengths, he would tug and pull them down to the place where he meant to build his dam. There he placed the poles side by side, not across the Laughing Brook like a bridge, but with the big ends pointing up the Laughing Brook, which was quite broad, but shallow right there. To keep them from floating away, he rolled stones and piled mud on the bushy ends. Clear across on both sides, he laid those poles until the water began to rise.

Then he dragged more poles and piled them on top of these and wedged short sticks crosswise between them. And all the time, the Laughing Brook was having harder and harder work to run. It's merry laugh grew less merry and finally almost stopped. Because as you see, the water could not get through between all those poles and sticks fast enough. It was just about that time that the little people of the Smiling Pool decided that it was time to see just what Paddy was doing.

And they started up the Laughing Brook, leaving only Grandfather Frog and the tadpoles in the Smiling Pool, which for a little while would smile no more. Paddy the Beaver knew perfectly well that he would have visitors just as soon as he began to build his dam. He expected a lot of them. You see, he knew that none of them ever had seen a beaver at work, unless perhaps it was Prickly Porky the Porcupine who also had come down from the north. So as he worked, he kept his ears open and he smiled to himself as he heard a little rustle here and then, and a little rustle there.

He knew just what those little rustles meant. Each one meant another visitor. Yes, sir. Each russle meant another visitor and yet not one had shown himself. Paddy chuckled.

"Seems to me that you are dreadfully afraid to show yourselves," said he in a loud voice, just as if he were talking to nobody in particular. Everything was still. There wasn't so much as a rustle after Paddy spoke. He chuckled again. He could just feel ever so many eyes watching him, though he didn't see a single pair.

And he knew that the reason his visitors were hiding so carefully was because they were afraid of him. You see, Paddy was much bigger than most of the little meadow and forest people. And they didn't know what kind of temper he might have. It is always safest to be very distrustful of strangers. That is one of the very first things taught all little meadow and forest children.

Of course, Paddy knew about this. He had been brought up that way. Be sure, and then you'll never be sorry, had been one of his mother's favorite sayings and he had always remembered it. Indeed, it had saved him a great deal of trouble. So now he was perfectly willing to go right on working and let his hidden visitors watch him until they were sure that he meant them no harm.

You see, he himself felt quite sure that none of them was big enough to do any harm. Little Joe Otter was the only one he had any doubts about. And he felt quite sure that Little Joe wouldn't try to pick a quarrel. So he kept right on cutting trees, trimming off the branches and hauling the trunks down to the dam he was building. Some of them he floated down the Laughing Brook.

This was easier. Now when the little people of the Smiling Pool, who were the first to find out that Paddy the Beaver had come to the Green Forest, had started up the Laughing Brook to see what he was doing, they had told the Merry Little Breezes where they were going. The Merry Little Breezes had been greatly excited. They couldn't understand how a stranger could have been living in the Green Forest without their knowledge. You see, they quite forget that they very seldom wandered to the deepest part of the Green Forest.

Of course, they started at once as fast as they could go to tell all the other little people who live on or around the Green Meadows, all but Old Man Coyote. For some reason, they thought it would be best not to tell him. They were a little doubtful about Old Man Coyote. He was so big and strong and so sly and smart that all his neighbors were afraid of him. Perhaps the Merry Little Breezes had this fact in mind and knew that none would dare go to call on the stranger if they knew that Old Man Coyote was going to.

Anyway, they simply pass the time of day with Old Mr. Coyote and hurried on to tell everyone else. And the very last one they met was Sammy Jay. When Sammy Jay reached the place deep in the Green Forest, where Paddy the Beaver was so hard at work, he didn't hide as had the little four-footed people. You see, of course, he had no reason to hide because he felt perfectly safe.

Paddy had just cut a big tree and it fell with a crash as Sammy came hurrying up. Sammy was so surprised that for a minute, he couldn't find his tongue. He had not supposed that anybody but Farmer Brown or Farmer Brown's boy could cut down so large a tree as that. And it quite took his breath away. But he got it again in a minute.

He was boiling with anger anyway, to think that he should have been the last to learn that Paddy had come down from the north to make his home in the Green Forest. And here was a chance to speak his mind. "Thief, thief, thief!" he screamed in the harshest voice. Paddy the Beaver looked up with a twinkle in his eyes. "Hello, Mr.

Jay. I see you haven't any better manners than your cousin who lives up where I come from," said he. "Thief! Thief! Thief!" screams Sammy, hopping up and down. He was so angry. "Meaning yourself, I suppose," said Patty, "I never did see an honest Jay and I don't suppose I ever will." "Hahaha," laughed Peter Rabbit who had quite forgotten that he was hiding.

"Oh, how do you do Mr. Rabbit? I'm very glad you have called on me this morning," said Paddy, just as if he hadn't known all the time just where Peter was. "Mr. Jay seems to have gotten out on the wrong side of the bed this morning." Peter laughed again. "He always does," said he, "if he didn't, he wouldn't be happy.

You wouldn't think it to look at him, but he is happy right now. He doesn't know it, but he is. He always is happy when he can show what a bad temper he has." Sammy Jay glared down at Peter. Then he glared at Paddy. And all the time he still shrieked, "Thief," as hard as he ever could.

Paddy kept right on working, paying no attention to Sammy. This made Sammy more angry than ever. He kept coming nearer and nearer until at last he was in the very tree that Paddy happened to be cutting. Paddy's eyes twinkled. "I'm no thief," he explained suddenly.

"You are. You are. Thief! Thief!" shrieked Sammy. "You're stealing our trees." "They're not your trees," retorted Paddy. "They belong to the Green Forest and the Green Forest belongs to all who love it.

And we all have a perfect right to take what we need from it. I need these trees and I've just as much right to take them as you have to take the fat acorns that drop in the Fall." "No such thing!" screamed Sammy. You know he can't talk without screaming and the more excited he gets, the louder he screams. "No such thing. Acorns are food.

They are meant to eat. I have to have them to live, but you are cutting down whole trees. You are spoiling the Green Forest. You don't belong here. Nobody invited you and nobody wants you.

You're a thief!" Then up spoke Jerry Muskrat, who you know is cousin to Paddy the Beaver. "Don't you mind him," said he pointing at Sam Jay. "Nobody does. He's the greatest troublemaker in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows. He would steal from his own relatives.

Don't mind what he says, Cousin Paddy." Now, all this time, Paddy had been working away just as if no one was around. Just as Jerry stopped speaking, Paddy thumped the ground with his tail, which is his way of warning people to watch out and suddenly scurried away as fast as he could run. Sammy Jay was so surprised that he couldn't find his tongue for a minute and he didn't notice anything peculiar about the tree. Then suddenly he felt himself falling. With a frightened scream, he spread his wings to fly, but branches of the tree swept him down with them right into the Laughing Brook.

You see, while Sammy had been speaking his mind, Paddy the Beaver had cut down the very tree in which he was sitting. Sammy wasn't hurt, but he was wet and muddy and terribly frightened. The most miserable looking Jay that ever was seen. It was too much for all the little people who were hiding. They just had to laugh and they all came out to pay their respects to Paddy the Beaver.

Paddy the Beaver kept right on working just as if he hadn't many visitors. You see, it is a big undertaking to build a dam. And when that was done, there was a house to build and a supply of food for the winter to cut and store. Oh, Paddy the Beaver had no time for idle gossip. You may be sure.

So he kept right on building his dam. It didn't look much like a dam at first. And some of Paddy's visitors turned up their noses when they first saw it. They had heard stories of what a wonderful dam builder Paddy was. And they had expected to see something like the smooth, grass-covered bank with which Farmer Brown kept the big river from running back on his low lands.

Instead, all they saw was a great pile of poles and sticks, which looked like anything but a dam. "Pooh!" exclaimed Billy Mink, "I guess we needn't worry about the Laughing Brook and the Smiling Pool. If that is the best Paddy can do, why the water of the Laughing Brook will work through that in no time. Of course Paddy heard him, but he had said nothing. Just kept right on working.

"Just look at the way he has laid those sticks," continued Billy Mink. "Seems as if anyone would know enough to lay them across the Laughing Brook instead of just the other way. I could build a better dam than that." Paddy said nothing. He just kept right on working. "Yes, sir," Billy boasted.

"I could build a better dam than that. Why that pile of sticks will never stop the water." "Something the matter with your eyesight, Billy Mink?" inquired Jerry Muskrat. "Of course not!" retorted Billy indignantly. "Why?" "Oh, nothing much. Only you don't seem to notice that already the Laughing Brook is over its banks above Paddy's dam," replied, Jerry, who had been studying the dam with a great deal of interest.

Billy looked a wee bit foolish, for sure enough there was a little pool just above the dam and it was growing bigger. Sammy was terribly put out to think that anything should be going on that he didn't know about first. You know he is very fond of prying into the affairs of other people and he loves dearly to boast said there is nothing going on in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows that he doesn't know about. So now his pride was hurt and he was in a terrible rage as he started after the Merry Little Breezes for the place deep in the Green Forest, where they said Paddy the Beaver was at work. He didn't believe a word of it, but he would see for himself.

Patty's still kept at work, saying nothing. And the mud and grass he dug up, he stuffed in between the ends of the sticks and patted them down with his hands. He did this all along the front of the dam and on top of it too, wherever he thought it was needed. Of course, this made it harder for the water to work through. And the little pond above the dam began to grow faster.

It wasn't a great while before it was nearly to the top of the dam, which at first was very low. Then Paddy brought more sticks. This was easier now because he could float them down from where he was cutting. He would put them in place on top of the dam and hurry for more. Wherever it was needed, he would put in mud.

He even rolled a few stones in to help hold the mass. So the dam grew and grew, and so did the pond above the dam. Of course it took a good many days to build so big a dam and a lot of hard work. Every morning, the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadow would visit it. And every morning they would find that it had grown a great deal in the night, for that is when Paddy likes best to work.

By this time, the Laughing Brook had stopped laughing. And down in the Smiling Pool, there was hardly enough water for the minnows to feel safe a minute. Billy Mink had stopped making fun of the dam. And all the little people who live in the Laughing Brook and Smiling Pool were terribly worried. To be sure, Paddy had warned them of what he was going to do and had promised that as soon as his pond was big enough, the water would once more run in the Laughing Brook.

They tried to believe him, but they couldn't help having just a wee bit of fear that he might not be wholly honest. You see, they didn't know him for he was a stranger. Jerry Muskrat was the only one who seemed absolutely sure that everything would be all right. Perhaps that was because Paddy is his cousin and Jerry couldn't help feeling proud of such a big cousin and one who was so smart. So day by day, the dam grew and pond grew.

And one morning, Grandfather Frog, down in what had once been the Smiling Pool, heard a sound that made his heart jump for joy. It was a murmur that kept growing and growing until at last it was the merry laugh of the Laughing Brook, and he knew that Patty had kept his word and water would once more fill the Smiling Pool. Now it happened that the very day before Paddy the Beaver decided that his pond was big enough and so allowed the water to run in the Laughing Brook once more, Farmer Brown's boy took it into his head to go fishing in the Smiling Pool. Just as usual, he went whistling down across the Green Meadows. Somehow when he goes fishing, he always feels like whistling.

Grandfather Frog heard him coming down and dived into the little bit of water remaining in the Smiling Pool and stirred up the mud at the bottom so that Farmer Brown's boy shouldn't see him. Nearer and nearer drew the whistle. Suddenly it stopped right short off. Farmer Brown's boy had come inside of the Smiling Pool or rather it was what used to be the Smiling Pool. Now there wasn't any Smiling Pool, for the very little pool left was too small and sickly looking to smile.

There were great banks of mud out of which grew the bulrushes. The lily pads were forlornly stretched out toward the tiny pool of water remaining. Where the banks were steep and high, the holes that Jerry Muskrat and Billy Mink knew so well, were plain to see. Over at one side, stood Jerry Muskrat's house, wholly out of water. Somehow it seemed to Farmer Brown's boy that he must be dreaming.

He never, never had seen anything like this before. Not even in the very driest weather at the hottest part of the summer. He looked this way and looked that way. The Green Meadows look just as usual. The Green Forest look just as usual.

The Laughing Brook - ha! What was the matter with the Laughing Brook? He couldn't hear it. And that, you know, was very unusual. He dropped his rod and ran over to the Laughing Brook. There wasn't any brook. No, sir.

There wasn't any brook, just pools of water with the tiniest of streams trickling between big stones over which he had always seen the water running in the prettiest of little white falls were bare and dry. In the little pools, frightened minnows were darting about. Farmer Brown's boys scratched his head in a puzzled way. "I don't understand it," said he. "I don't understand it at all.

Something must've gone wrong with the springs that supply the water for the Laughing Brook. They must have failed. Yes, sir. That is what must have happened, but I never heard of such a thing happening before. And I really don't see how it could happen." He stared up in the Green Forest just as if he thought he could see those Springs.

Of course, he didn't think anything of the kind. He was just turning it all over in his mind. "I know what I'll do. I'll go up to those springs this afternoon and find out what the trouble is," he said out loud. "They are way over, almost on the other side of the Green Forest and the easiest way to get there will be to start from home and cut across the old pasture, up to the edge of the mountain, behind the Green Forest.

If I try to follow up the Laughing Brook now, it will take too long because it winds and twists so. Besides it's too hard work." With that Farmer Brown's boy went back and picked up his rod. Then he started for home across the Green Meadows. And for once he wasn't whistling. You see, he was too busy thinking.

In fact, he was so busy thinking that he didn't see Jimmy Skunk until he almost stepped on him. And then he gave a frightened jump and ran, for without a gun he was just as much afraid of Jimmy as Jimmy was of him when he did have a gun. Jimmy just grinned and went on about his business. It always tickles Jimmy to see people run away from him, especially people so much bigger than himself. They look so silly.

"I should think that they would have learned by this time that if they don't bother me, I won't bother them," he muttered as he rolled over a stone to look for fat beatles. "Somehow folks never seem to understand me." Across the old pasture, to the foot of the mountain, back of the Green Forest tramped Farmer Brown's boy. Ahead of him trotted Browser the Hound. Sniffing and snuffing for the tracks of Reddy or Granny Fox. Of course, he didn't find them for Reddy and Granny hadn't been up in the pasture for a long time.

But he did find Old Jed Thumper, big, gray Rabbit, who had made things so uncomfortable for Peter Rabbit once upon a time and gave Old Jed, such a fright that he didn't look where he was going and almost ran head first into Farmer Brown's boy. "Hi there, you old cottontail," yelled Farmer Brown's boy. And this frightened off Jed still more so that he actually ran right past his own castle of bullbriars without seeing it. Farmer Brown's boy kept on his way, laughing at the fright of Old Jed Thumper. Presently, he reached the springs from which came the water that made the very beginning of the Laughing Brook.

He expected to find them dry, for way down on the Green Meadows, the Smiling Pool was nearly dry and the Laughing Brook was nearly dry. And he had supposed that, of course, the reason was at the springs where the Laughing Brooks started were no longer bubbling. But they were! The clear, cold water came bubbling up out of the ground just as it always had. And ran off, down into the Green Forest in a little stream that would grow and grow as it ran and became the Laughing Brook. Farmer brown's boy took off his ragged old straw hat and scowled down at the bubbling water just as if it had no business to be bubbling there.

Story

4

The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver

Get comfortable and ready to be soothed to sleep as Cory reads one of his favorite stories, The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Let's settle in for a night of deep sleep with one of my favorite stories, The Adventures of Paddy, the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess. Work, work all the night while the stars are shining bright. Work, work all the day. I have got no time to play.

This little rhyme, Paddy, the beaver made up as he toiled at building the dam, which was to make the pond he so much desired deep in the Green Forest. Of course it wasn't true, that about working all night and all day. Nobody could do that, you know, and keep it up. Everybody has to rest and sleep. Yes, and everybody has to play a little bit to be at their best.

So it wasn't quite true that Paddy worked all day after working all night. But it was true that Paddy had no time to play. He had too much to do. He had had his play time during the long summer, and now he had to get ready for the long cold winter. Now, of all the little workers in the Green Forest, on the Green Meadows and in the smiling pool, none can compare with Paddy the Beaver, not even his cousin, Jerry Muskrat.

Happy Jack Squirrel and Stripe Chipmunk store up food for the long, cold months when rough Brother Northwind and Jack Frost rule. And Jerry Muskrat builds a fine house wherein to keep warm and comfortable. But all this is as nothing to the work of Paddy, the Beaver. As I said before, Paddy had had a long play time throughout the summer. He had wandered up and down the Laughing Brook.

He had followed it way up to the place where it started. And all the time he had been studying and studying to make sure that he wanted to stay in the Green Forest. In the first place, he had to be sure that there was plenty of the kind of food that he likes. Then he had to be equally sure that he could make a pond near where this particular food grew. Last of all, he had to satisfy himself that if he did make a pond and build a home, he would be reasonably safe in it.

And all these things he had done in his playtime. Now he was ready to go to work. And when Paddy begins work, he sticks to it until it is finished. He says that is the only way to succeed. And, you know, and I know that he is right.

Now Paddy the Beaver can see at night just as Ready Fox and Peter Rabbit and Bobby Raccoon can. And he likes the night best because he feels safest then. But he can see in the daytime too. And when he feels that he is perfectly safe and no one is watching, he works then too. Of course.

The first thing to do was to build a dam across the Laughing Brook, to make the pond he so much needed. He chose a low, open place deep in the Green Forest and the edge of which grew many young Aspen trees, the bark of which is his favorite food. Through the middle of this open place flowed the Laughing Brook. At the lower edge was just the place for a dam. It would not have to be very long.

And when it was finished and the water was stopped in the Laughing Brook, it would just have to flow over the low, open place and make a pond there. Paddy's eyes twinkled when he first saw it. It was right then that he made up his mind to stay in the Green Forest. So now that he was ready to begin his dam, he went up, the Laughing Brook to a place where alders and willows grew. And there he began work.

That work was the cutting of a great number of trees by means of his big front teeth, which were given him for just this purpose. And as he worked, Paddy was happy. For one can never be truly happy who does no work? Paddy the Beaver was busy, cutting down trees for the dam he had planned to build. Up in the woods of the north, from which he had come to the Green Forest, he had learned all about tree cutting and dam building and canal digging and house-building. Paddy's father and mother had been very wise in the beaver world and Paddy had been quick to learn.

So now he knew just what to do and the best way of doing it. You know, a great many people waste time and labor doing things the wrong way so that they have to be done over and over again. They forget to be sure they are right. And so they go ahead until they find they are wrong and all their work goes for nothing. But Paddy the Beaver isn't this kind.

Paddy would never have leaped into the spring with the steep sides without looking as Grandfather Frog did. So now he carefully picked out the trees to cut. He could not afford to waste time cutting down a tree that wasn't going to be just what he wanted when it was down. When he was sure that the tree was right, he looked up at the top to find out whether, when he had cut it, it would fall clear of other trees. He had learned to do that when he was quite young and heedless.

He remembered just how he had felt when after working hard, oh, so hard to cut a big tree, he had warned all his friends to get out of the way so that they would not be hurt when it fell. And then it hadn't fallen at all because the top had caught in another tree. He was so mortified that he didn't get over it for a long time. So now he made sure that a tree was going to fall clear and just where he wanted it. And he sat up on his hind legs, and with this great broad tail for a brace, began to make the chips fly.

You know, Paddy has the most wonderful teeth for cutting. They are long and broad and sharp. He would begin by making a deep bite. And then another, just a little way below. Then he would pry out the little piece of wood between.

When he had cut very deep on one side so that the tree would fall that way, he would work around to the other side. Just as soon as the tree began to lean and he was sure that it was going to fall, he would scamper away so as to be out of danger. He loved to see those tall trees lean forward slowly then faster and faster till they struck the ground with a crash. Just as soon as they were down, he would trim off the branches until the trees were just long poles. This was easy work for he could take off a good size branch with just one bite.

On many, he left their bushy tops. When he had trimmed them to suit him and had cut them into the right lengths, he would tug and pull them down to the place where he meant to build his dam. There he placed the poles side by side, not across the Laughing Brook like a bridge, but with the big ends pointing up the Laughing Brook, which was quite broad, but shallow right there. To keep them from floating away, he rolled stones and piled mud on the bushy ends. Clear across on both sides, he laid those poles until the water began to rise.

Then he dragged more poles and piled them on top of these and wedged short sticks crosswise between them. And all the time, the Laughing Brook was having harder and harder work to run. It's merry laugh grew less merry and finally almost stopped. Because as you see, the water could not get through between all those poles and sticks fast enough. It was just about that time that the little people of the Smiling Pool decided that it was time to see just what Paddy was doing.

And they started up the Laughing Brook, leaving only Grandfather Frog and the tadpoles in the Smiling Pool, which for a little while would smile no more. Paddy the Beaver knew perfectly well that he would have visitors just as soon as he began to build his dam. He expected a lot of them. You see, he knew that none of them ever had seen a beaver at work, unless perhaps it was Prickly Porky the Porcupine who also had come down from the north. So as he worked, he kept his ears open and he smiled to himself as he heard a little rustle here and then, and a little rustle there.

He knew just what those little rustles meant. Each one meant another visitor. Yes, sir. Each russle meant another visitor and yet not one had shown himself. Paddy chuckled.

"Seems to me that you are dreadfully afraid to show yourselves," said he in a loud voice, just as if he were talking to nobody in particular. Everything was still. There wasn't so much as a rustle after Paddy spoke. He chuckled again. He could just feel ever so many eyes watching him, though he didn't see a single pair.

And he knew that the reason his visitors were hiding so carefully was because they were afraid of him. You see, Paddy was much bigger than most of the little meadow and forest people. And they didn't know what kind of temper he might have. It is always safest to be very distrustful of strangers. That is one of the very first things taught all little meadow and forest children.

Of course, Paddy knew about this. He had been brought up that way. Be sure, and then you'll never be sorry, had been one of his mother's favorite sayings and he had always remembered it. Indeed, it had saved him a great deal of trouble. So now he was perfectly willing to go right on working and let his hidden visitors watch him until they were sure that he meant them no harm.

You see, he himself felt quite sure that none of them was big enough to do any harm. Little Joe Otter was the only one he had any doubts about. And he felt quite sure that Little Joe wouldn't try to pick a quarrel. So he kept right on cutting trees, trimming off the branches and hauling the trunks down to the dam he was building. Some of them he floated down the Laughing Brook.

This was easier. Now when the little people of the Smiling Pool, who were the first to find out that Paddy the Beaver had come to the Green Forest, had started up the Laughing Brook to see what he was doing, they had told the Merry Little Breezes where they were going. The Merry Little Breezes had been greatly excited. They couldn't understand how a stranger could have been living in the Green Forest without their knowledge. You see, they quite forget that they very seldom wandered to the deepest part of the Green Forest.

Of course, they started at once as fast as they could go to tell all the other little people who live on or around the Green Meadows, all but Old Man Coyote. For some reason, they thought it would be best not to tell him. They were a little doubtful about Old Man Coyote. He was so big and strong and so sly and smart that all his neighbors were afraid of him. Perhaps the Merry Little Breezes had this fact in mind and knew that none would dare go to call on the stranger if they knew that Old Man Coyote was going to.

Anyway, they simply pass the time of day with Old Mr. Coyote and hurried on to tell everyone else. And the very last one they met was Sammy Jay. When Sammy Jay reached the place deep in the Green Forest, where Paddy the Beaver was so hard at work, he didn't hide as had the little four-footed people. You see, of course, he had no reason to hide because he felt perfectly safe.

Paddy had just cut a big tree and it fell with a crash as Sammy came hurrying up. Sammy was so surprised that for a minute, he couldn't find his tongue. He had not supposed that anybody but Farmer Brown or Farmer Brown's boy could cut down so large a tree as that. And it quite took his breath away. But he got it again in a minute.

He was boiling with anger anyway, to think that he should have been the last to learn that Paddy had come down from the north to make his home in the Green Forest. And here was a chance to speak his mind. "Thief, thief, thief!" he screamed in the harshest voice. Paddy the Beaver looked up with a twinkle in his eyes. "Hello, Mr.

Jay. I see you haven't any better manners than your cousin who lives up where I come from," said he. "Thief! Thief! Thief!" screams Sammy, hopping up and down. He was so angry. "Meaning yourself, I suppose," said Patty, "I never did see an honest Jay and I don't suppose I ever will." "Hahaha," laughed Peter Rabbit who had quite forgotten that he was hiding.

"Oh, how do you do Mr. Rabbit? I'm very glad you have called on me this morning," said Paddy, just as if he hadn't known all the time just where Peter was. "Mr. Jay seems to have gotten out on the wrong side of the bed this morning." Peter laughed again. "He always does," said he, "if he didn't, he wouldn't be happy.

You wouldn't think it to look at him, but he is happy right now. He doesn't know it, but he is. He always is happy when he can show what a bad temper he has." Sammy Jay glared down at Peter. Then he glared at Paddy. And all the time he still shrieked, "Thief," as hard as he ever could.

Paddy kept right on working, paying no attention to Sammy. This made Sammy more angry than ever. He kept coming nearer and nearer until at last he was in the very tree that Paddy happened to be cutting. Paddy's eyes twinkled. "I'm no thief," he explained suddenly.

"You are. You are. Thief! Thief!" shrieked Sammy. "You're stealing our trees." "They're not your trees," retorted Paddy. "They belong to the Green Forest and the Green Forest belongs to all who love it.

And we all have a perfect right to take what we need from it. I need these trees and I've just as much right to take them as you have to take the fat acorns that drop in the Fall." "No such thing!" screamed Sammy. You know he can't talk without screaming and the more excited he gets, the louder he screams. "No such thing. Acorns are food.

They are meant to eat. I have to have them to live, but you are cutting down whole trees. You are spoiling the Green Forest. You don't belong here. Nobody invited you and nobody wants you.

You're a thief!" Then up spoke Jerry Muskrat, who you know is cousin to Paddy the Beaver. "Don't you mind him," said he pointing at Sam Jay. "Nobody does. He's the greatest troublemaker in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows. He would steal from his own relatives.

Don't mind what he says, Cousin Paddy." Now, all this time, Paddy had been working away just as if no one was around. Just as Jerry stopped speaking, Paddy thumped the ground with his tail, which is his way of warning people to watch out and suddenly scurried away as fast as he could run. Sammy Jay was so surprised that he couldn't find his tongue for a minute and he didn't notice anything peculiar about the tree. Then suddenly he felt himself falling. With a frightened scream, he spread his wings to fly, but branches of the tree swept him down with them right into the Laughing Brook.

You see, while Sammy had been speaking his mind, Paddy the Beaver had cut down the very tree in which he was sitting. Sammy wasn't hurt, but he was wet and muddy and terribly frightened. The most miserable looking Jay that ever was seen. It was too much for all the little people who were hiding. They just had to laugh and they all came out to pay their respects to Paddy the Beaver.

Paddy the Beaver kept right on working just as if he hadn't many visitors. You see, it is a big undertaking to build a dam. And when that was done, there was a house to build and a supply of food for the winter to cut and store. Oh, Paddy the Beaver had no time for idle gossip. You may be sure.

So he kept right on building his dam. It didn't look much like a dam at first. And some of Paddy's visitors turned up their noses when they first saw it. They had heard stories of what a wonderful dam builder Paddy was. And they had expected to see something like the smooth, grass-covered bank with which Farmer Brown kept the big river from running back on his low lands.

Instead, all they saw was a great pile of poles and sticks, which looked like anything but a dam. "Pooh!" exclaimed Billy Mink, "I guess we needn't worry about the Laughing Brook and the Smiling Pool. If that is the best Paddy can do, why the water of the Laughing Brook will work through that in no time. Of course Paddy heard him, but he had said nothing. Just kept right on working.

"Just look at the way he has laid those sticks," continued Billy Mink. "Seems as if anyone would know enough to lay them across the Laughing Brook instead of just the other way. I could build a better dam than that." Paddy said nothing. He just kept right on working. "Yes, sir," Billy boasted.

"I could build a better dam than that. Why that pile of sticks will never stop the water." "Something the matter with your eyesight, Billy Mink?" inquired Jerry Muskrat. "Of course not!" retorted Billy indignantly. "Why?" "Oh, nothing much. Only you don't seem to notice that already the Laughing Brook is over its banks above Paddy's dam," replied, Jerry, who had been studying the dam with a great deal of interest.

Billy looked a wee bit foolish, for sure enough there was a little pool just above the dam and it was growing bigger. Sammy was terribly put out to think that anything should be going on that he didn't know about first. You know he is very fond of prying into the affairs of other people and he loves dearly to boast said there is nothing going on in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows that he doesn't know about. So now his pride was hurt and he was in a terrible rage as he started after the Merry Little Breezes for the place deep in the Green Forest, where they said Paddy the Beaver was at work. He didn't believe a word of it, but he would see for himself.

Patty's still kept at work, saying nothing. And the mud and grass he dug up, he stuffed in between the ends of the sticks and patted them down with his hands. He did this all along the front of the dam and on top of it too, wherever he thought it was needed. Of course, this made it harder for the water to work through. And the little pond above the dam began to grow faster.

It wasn't a great while before it was nearly to the top of the dam, which at first was very low. Then Paddy brought more sticks. This was easier now because he could float them down from where he was cutting. He would put them in place on top of the dam and hurry for more. Wherever it was needed, he would put in mud.

He even rolled a few stones in to help hold the mass. So the dam grew and grew, and so did the pond above the dam. Of course it took a good many days to build so big a dam and a lot of hard work. Every morning, the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadow would visit it. And every morning they would find that it had grown a great deal in the night, for that is when Paddy likes best to work.

By this time, the Laughing Brook had stopped laughing. And down in the Smiling Pool, there was hardly enough water for the minnows to feel safe a minute. Billy Mink had stopped making fun of the dam. And all the little people who live in the Laughing Brook and Smiling Pool were terribly worried. To be sure, Paddy had warned them of what he was going to do and had promised that as soon as his pond was big enough, the water would once more run in the Laughing Brook.

They tried to believe him, but they couldn't help having just a wee bit of fear that he might not be wholly honest. You see, they didn't know him for he was a stranger. Jerry Muskrat was the only one who seemed absolutely sure that everything would be all right. Perhaps that was because Paddy is his cousin and Jerry couldn't help feeling proud of such a big cousin and one who was so smart. So day by day, the dam grew and pond grew.

And one morning, Grandfather Frog, down in what had once been the Smiling Pool, heard a sound that made his heart jump for joy. It was a murmur that kept growing and growing until at last it was the merry laugh of the Laughing Brook, and he knew that Patty had kept his word and water would once more fill the Smiling Pool. Now it happened that the very day before Paddy the Beaver decided that his pond was big enough and so allowed the water to run in the Laughing Brook once more, Farmer Brown's boy took it into his head to go fishing in the Smiling Pool. Just as usual, he went whistling down across the Green Meadows. Somehow when he goes fishing, he always feels like whistling.

Grandfather Frog heard him coming down and dived into the little bit of water remaining in the Smiling Pool and stirred up the mud at the bottom so that Farmer Brown's boy shouldn't see him. Nearer and nearer drew the whistle. Suddenly it stopped right short off. Farmer Brown's boy had come inside of the Smiling Pool or rather it was what used to be the Smiling Pool. Now there wasn't any Smiling Pool, for the very little pool left was too small and sickly looking to smile.

There were great banks of mud out of which grew the bulrushes. The lily pads were forlornly stretched out toward the tiny pool of water remaining. Where the banks were steep and high, the holes that Jerry Muskrat and Billy Mink knew so well, were plain to see. Over at one side, stood Jerry Muskrat's house, wholly out of water. Somehow it seemed to Farmer Brown's boy that he must be dreaming.

He never, never had seen anything like this before. Not even in the very driest weather at the hottest part of the summer. He looked this way and looked that way. The Green Meadows look just as usual. The Green Forest look just as usual.

The Laughing Brook - ha! What was the matter with the Laughing Brook? He couldn't hear it. And that, you know, was very unusual. He dropped his rod and ran over to the Laughing Brook. There wasn't any brook. No, sir.

There wasn't any brook, just pools of water with the tiniest of streams trickling between big stones over which he had always seen the water running in the prettiest of little white falls were bare and dry. In the little pools, frightened minnows were darting about. Farmer Brown's boys scratched his head in a puzzled way. "I don't understand it," said he. "I don't understand it at all.

Something must've gone wrong with the springs that supply the water for the Laughing Brook. They must have failed. Yes, sir. That is what must have happened, but I never heard of such a thing happening before. And I really don't see how it could happen." He stared up in the Green Forest just as if he thought he could see those Springs.

Of course, he didn't think anything of the kind. He was just turning it all over in his mind. "I know what I'll do. I'll go up to those springs this afternoon and find out what the trouble is," he said out loud. "They are way over, almost on the other side of the Green Forest and the easiest way to get there will be to start from home and cut across the old pasture, up to the edge of the mountain, behind the Green Forest.

If I try to follow up the Laughing Brook now, it will take too long because it winds and twists so. Besides it's too hard work." With that Farmer Brown's boy went back and picked up his rod. Then he started for home across the Green Meadows. And for once he wasn't whistling. You see, he was too busy thinking.

In fact, he was so busy thinking that he didn't see Jimmy Skunk until he almost stepped on him. And then he gave a frightened jump and ran, for without a gun he was just as much afraid of Jimmy as Jimmy was of him when he did have a gun. Jimmy just grinned and went on about his business. It always tickles Jimmy to see people run away from him, especially people so much bigger than himself. They look so silly.

"I should think that they would have learned by this time that if they don't bother me, I won't bother them," he muttered as he rolled over a stone to look for fat beatles. "Somehow folks never seem to understand me." Across the old pasture, to the foot of the mountain, back of the Green Forest tramped Farmer Brown's boy. Ahead of him trotted Browser the Hound. Sniffing and snuffing for the tracks of Reddy or Granny Fox. Of course, he didn't find them for Reddy and Granny hadn't been up in the pasture for a long time.

But he did find Old Jed Thumper, big, gray Rabbit, who had made things so uncomfortable for Peter Rabbit once upon a time and gave Old Jed, such a fright that he didn't look where he was going and almost ran head first into Farmer Brown's boy. "Hi there, you old cottontail," yelled Farmer Brown's boy. And this frightened off Jed still more so that he actually ran right past his own castle of bullbriars without seeing it. Farmer Brown's boy kept on his way, laughing at the fright of Old Jed Thumper. Presently, he reached the springs from which came the water that made the very beginning of the Laughing Brook.

He expected to find them dry, for way down on the Green Meadows, the Smiling Pool was nearly dry and the Laughing Brook was nearly dry. And he had supposed that, of course, the reason was at the springs where the Laughing Brooks started were no longer bubbling. But they were! The clear, cold water came bubbling up out of the ground just as it always had. And ran off, down into the Green Forest in a little stream that would grow and grow as it ran and became the Laughing Brook. Farmer brown's boy took off his ragged old straw hat and scowled down at the bubbling water just as if it had no business to be bubbling there.

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