The Beaver and the Bear

The beaver strolled through the forest, proud of his work over the past few days. He had managed to finish building his new home in less than a week, and he did it all by himself. Suddenly, he came across a sleeping bear, and although he tried to tip-toe by quietly, accidently snapped a twig and woke the bear up. Furious to have been awoken, the bear immediately noticed the beaver and wanted to kill him. Frightened, the beaver begged the bear for a chance to redeem himself, and told the bear about his great success and skills in building his new home. He offered the bear to build him a whole house out of wood, in exchange for sparing his life. The bear didn’t seem to like the proposal, but the beaver insisted and promised to finish it in the next three weeks, more than enough time before the first snow of winter would arrive.

The beaver knew that it would be a difficult task, and that it would need to be bigger than anything he had ever built for himself or his family, but he was confident in his abilities. He immediately began by searching for the right corner of the woods, and found a great spot next to a big boulder. He started to cut down trees with his teeth and placed them as the foundation. After a few hours of work, he grew tired and decided to call it a day. The next day, he woke up early, remembering the deal he had made with the bear. He worked hard all day, and continued like this for an entire week. By the end of the week, he had finished more than half of the house, and was even surprised by how well we had done.

The next morning, he thought about how much he had accomplished until now, and decided to take a day off. At the pace he had worked until now, he had more than enough time. The next day he went back to work, but after just two hours, found himself hungry and went off to find lunch, completely forgetting about the work. He enjoyed the rest of his day, eating his favorite berries and playing in the river. On Tuesday of the second week, he went back to work, and over the next three days accomplished a lot, leaving very little to finish. He decided that there was so little to finish that he could save the rest for the final week, and went on a short vacation to visit his cousins in the distant forests, excited to brag about his accomplishments. When he got there, they were quite impressed, but upon hearing about the deal with the bear, sincerely cautioned him of getting carried away and forgetting to finish it before the third week was up. He assured them that everything would be ok and that he could easily finish it in no time at all.

After spending the following few days with his cousins, the beaver decided to go visit his friend the rabbit. Before leaving, the beaver’s cousins warned him again to finish the work soon, but he reassured them that there was nothing to worry about. Upon arriving at the rabbit’s home, the beaver immediately began to tell his friend about all that had happened and his great building skills. The rabbit scorned the beaver and told him to go back to work at once. There were only four days left until the deadline. The beaver insisted that there would be no problem, and promised to go back to work early the next day. The next morning he woke up early and made his way back to the bear’s almost finished home. Upon arriving, he returned to work, and by the late afternoon, had almost completely finished it, with just the roof remaining. Knowing he still had two days left, the beaver went home, happy to know that he had easily saved himself from the bear. The next morning the beaver awoke to find a terrible downpour of rain. Knowing that he had little work to do, and not wanting to work in the rain, the beaver decided to wait until the rain would pass. A few hours later the sun came out, but the beaver was so involved in his card game that he forgot about the remaining work to be done. The next morning, the beaver had a nice breakfast and then set out to finish the job, only to find an angry bear waiting at his doorstop. The bear demanded that the beaver bring him to his new home at once, threatening to kill him if his home wasn’t yet ready. The beaver became frightened, and reminded the bear that he still had one day left. He explained to the bear where the house was being built, and told him to meet him there at the end of the day. Greatly annoyed but true to his word, the bear agreed to give the beaver until the end of the day to finish. The beaver scurried off, eager to finish at once. He found the house just as he had left it, and began to work, although now a bit nervous. He labored for hours, quickly learning that building a roof for such a big house would be very difficult. It was nothing like the roofs of any of his old, smaller beaver homes. He worked and worked as fast as he could, but at the end of the day, he realized that he needed at least another day to finish the roof. He began to cry to himself, “ If only I had one more day! Oh why didn’t I listen to my cousins or the rabbit? Why did I wait until the last minute?” Upon hearing the footsteps of the angry bear approaching, the beaver fled, leaving his home and the forest he had lived in all his life behind. Terrified of the wrath of the bear, the beaver never returned again.

The End

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