Beaver had spent the day collecting twigs and digging mud to build himself a home. The sun had started to set, and Beaver knew he couldn’t start building his home before it got dark, so he sat by the creek and played alone with his toys. He made little dances, and called in little voices, but he wished he had a friend to play with.
Everyone knows that beavers are the best at building houses.
So, when the air turned cold and the leaves started falling, Weasel asked Beaver to help him build a house. Happy to help someone new, Beaver cut down the branches and tied them together. He dug their ends into the ground and weaved leaves in between them. Weasel started to wander off, rummaging for food to keep in his new house, but Beaver was more than happy to help his new friend. When Beaver had finished, Weasel admired his new home and thanked Beaver. Beaver asked Weasel if he wanted to come back to his creek and play with toys, but Weasel shook his head. He had to collect food to store in his new house for the winter, but maybe they could play another time.
Weasel invited his friend Badger to show off his new home. Badger admired the handiwork and asked Weasel who had built such a wonderful house. Weasel set out to find Beaver, who was sitting by his creek, laying down mud to build a dam. He asked Beaver to build a house for Badger. Beaver, excited to meet someone new, agreed to help build a house. Weasel introduced Beaver to Badger with a smile, and Beaver set to work cutting down branches and tying them together. Badger shook his head. He explained that badgers live under the ground. Beaver didn’t know how to build a house under the ground, so Badger showed him how to dig. When Beaver started digging, Badger left to talk to Weasel. After a long day of digging, Beaver finally finished Badger’s new house. Badger thanked him graciously and asked what he could do to repay Beaver. Beaver indicated his toys and asked Badger if he wanted to play. Badger agreed but, since the sun was already setting, decided it would be better to play another day. Badger curled up inside his new home, while Beaver curled up with his toys by his creek.
The next day, Beaver woke up early so he could build his own house and play with his toys, maybe even with his new friends. As he was sorting his twigs, he heard an unfamiliar voice call his name. Skunk said she had heard from Weasel and Badger about the wonderful houses he made and wanted one for herself. Beaver meekly indicated his own house, which he hadn’t started building. But Skunk laughed saying if he was as good as the other animals had said, Beaver could build both in no time. Flattered, Beaver began gathering branches and tying them together. Beaver dug into the ground and soon, Skunk had a new house all to herself. But the sun was setting again, and Skunk wondered if Beaver had time to build his own house. Beaver said he didn’t but invited Skunk to play with his toys in the last hours of the day. Skunk said she was tired and curled up in her own home. Beaver wandered back to his creek.
Winter was fast approaching, and Beaver woke up earlier, even before the sun, to get started building his own house. When he was about halfway through, Hare approached him. He complimented Beaver on his house and asked if Beaver could build one for him. Beaver patted down the mud on his dam. He would have to wait for it to dry, so it wouldn’t hurt to leave and help Hare for a while. Hare asked for a home just like the one Badger had, so Beaver got to work digging at the ground. While he did, Hare went off to the creek to play with Badger, Skunk, and Weasel. Just as Beaver put the finishing touches on Hare’s home, Hare came back. He quickly looked around, squinting his face. He told Beaver that he didn’t like the house. It should be different. Beaver was confused, he’d dug this one exactly like Badgers, but now Hare was talking about stick and leaves.
Beaver worked into the night, building Hare a house of branches and leaves. When the sun rose, Hare woke up to find a brand new home. He thanked Beaver profusely for his work and asked if Beaver wanted to play with him and his friends by the creek. Beaver shook his head, he was much too tired to play. When he went back to his dam, however, he found it trampled and washed away. Some careless animals must have jumped on it while they were playing. Beaver was sad, but he was also too tired to say or do anything about it. He fell asleep next to the creek, vowing to start rebuilding as soon as he woke up.
Beaver awoke to Possum scratching at his ear. Possum wanted a house of her own. Beaver brushed her away. He was much too tired to build his own house, let alone someone else’s. There must be someone else in this forest that can build a house. Possum pleaded that she had asked all the animals in the forest, but no one could help her. Beaver was too tired to build two houses, but he also didn’t want Possum, with her thinning fur, to freeze during the winter. So he quickly built her a house and returned to his creek to sleep.
When the snow started to fall. Moose came up to Beaver and told him to build another house for him. Beaver knew he couldn’t argue with someone as large as Moose, so he set to work. Moose wandered into the forest to find food. Beaver used everything he’d learned while building houses for the other animals. He dug out the ground, tied his branches together, and weaved leaves through the twigs to keep Moose warm. Beaver worked quickly but carefully, and when he was finished, he stood back and admired what might have been the best house he’s ever built. When Moose returned, he was shocked. His house was only beaver-sized.
Moose asked Beaver how he was supposed to fit in such a tiny house. Beaver apologized. He tried to explain that he was only beaver-sized and couldn’t reach high enough to make a bigger house. He did the best he could. Moose sighed, disappointed in Beaver’s work, but still found a way to squeeze himself into the tiny house. Beaver walked away from Moose’s house. Sad that he had disappointed his new friend. Maybe he wasn’t as good at building houses as he thought. While we was walking back to the creek, Bear called out to him.
Bear asked why he looked sad but before Beaver could answer, Bear suggested a way to cheer Beaver up: by fixing Bear’s house. Beaver followed Bear, he had a chance to redeem himself. Bear showed Beaver into his cave and pointed at the far wall. Bear told Beaver to dig at the walls a bit so he could fit more snugly. Beaver nodded, and Bear left the cave to find some berries. Beaver started pawing at the wall, but it didn’t move. He started clawing at the wall, but it didn’t move. Finally, Beaver tried to bite at the wall. He screamed out in pain as his tooth chipped on the stone. Crying, Beaver gave up and made his way back outside. Bear came back, excited to see Beaver’s progress. Before Beaver could explain that he couldn’t dig at the walls, Bear rushed past him into the cave. He marvelled at Beaver’s work, and at the new size of his cave. Before Beaver could correct him, Bear promptly fell into a deep hibernation.
Everyone knows that beavers are the best at building houses. But while Beaver sat by the creek, with his mud frozen over and his sticks covered in snow, he wondered if he knew how to build houses at all.