How the Beaver Got a Flat Tail

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
A fable about how the beaver's tail became flat.

Submitted: January 21, 2009

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Submitted: January 21, 2009

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One fine morning a fox was hunting for his breakfast. He went down to the lake to catch some fish. He caught sight of a beaver building a dam. The fox was weary of fish, and the plump beaver looked so delicious. The hungry fox decided to surprise the busy beaver with a big chomp on the shoulder. As the fox was nearing his meal, he stepped on a stick. He froze. The beaver stopped with his task and turned around slowly. When he caught sight of the fox he started to scream. The fox was temped to just snatch the beaver up right there and then, but then thought better of it. He had a new plan. This plan involved a lot less struggling for both the beaver and himself. Plus, it might even get him a better reputation with the beavers.
"Shush. Why do you beavers scream so much?" asked the fox, slightly annoyed that he had lost his meal.
"I am sorry, but you scared me. I am still not very comforted by your long claws and sharp teeth," replied the beaver. The fox's smile dimmed a bit, but he moved on with his plan.
"Would you be more comforted if I were to tell you that I am not here to eat you? I am simply here to offer you some help with your... project." The fox eyed the dam. "I do believe that there is some better wood on the other side of that mountain." The fox pointed to a nearby mountain.
The beaver eyed him suspiciously, but then seeing nothing wrong with the suggestion he smiled and gratefully thanked the fox. The fox ran off to prepare for the second phase of his ingenious plan.
The next day around noon the fox spotted the beaver crossing the mountain. The fox took his position behind a large boulder. He had strategically placed it on the edge of a cliff next to the path that led across the mountain. Then he silently waited for the beaver to cross the path. Finally after what seemed a lifetime, the beaver was approaching the discreet target the fox had draw on the path.
Not knowing his fate, the beaver wistfully strolled down the path, thinking of nothing but the wonderful wood awaiting him. Suddenly, the beaver heard a whoosh and felt a sharp pain.
The fox was watching his boulder fall onto his lunch. He jumped excitedly, as he heard a loud thump. 'Finally, something worth the trouble of eating', the fox thought. He leaned over the edge of the cliff to make sure he had caught his lunch. To his surprise the fox saw the beaver still alive and well. The boulder had fallen on the beaver's tail. The fox was about to kill the beaver himself, when the beaver rolled the boulder off his body, revealing a wide, flat tail. The fox stood there, staring at the tail with interest. Then the beaver turned and looked at the fox with disgust.
"You will never have the chance to eat a beaver again. I will make sure of it," the beaver said menacingly, and turned and walked back to his home, wincing with each movement of his tail.
The next day, the fox went down to the lake to catch some fish. There he saw a colony of beavers. He thought about trying to catch one, but remembering the beaver's promise, he decided not to. The fox approached the lake. He saw the beaver, who was his potential meal, and the beaver saw him. At that moment the beaver started to whack his newly flat tail on the water, making a flat, loud warning sound. All the beavers and fish and ever other animal of prey, disappeared into hiding. The poor fox could not find anything to catch for food and ended up eating berries. He had definitely learned his lesson.


© Copyright 2018 Holden Caulfield. All rights reserved.

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