Boris the Beaver
By Sandra Stoner Mitchell

Boris the Beaver is busy today,
out gathering twigs to store them away.
He must make his new dam fantastic and strong;
he’d worked out a plan–which mustn’t go wrong.
Boris’s dream was to win a small prize,
then watch the shock show in everyone’s eyes.

Suddenly, Boris could hear youngsters talk;
all in the lane, they were out for a walk.
Headed this way, he had nowhere to hide
his twigs…he was frantic. He could have cried.
He hid in the water but, being clear,
he knew they would see him when they got here.

Timmy Mouse said, “Oooh, that water looks good!
Would you like a swim? I know that I would.”
He went to the edge of Popsicorn Bog,
and found all the twigs behind a big log.
“Hey, look at these,” he called out to his friends.
“Look at these twigs with their nice pointed ends!”

Cyril the Squirrel came over, then frowned,
shaking his head, as he looked all around.
“I’ve seen this before,” he said, trying to find
the word he was looking for deep in his mind.
“Beavers!” he cried out. “There must be one near,
building his dam, as it’s that time of year.”

“He wouldn’t just leave them,” said Millie the Mole.
“Which means he’s still here,” agreed Vicky the Vole.
“Do you think he’s scared because we came near?”
Then Reggie the Rat called out, “Come over here.”
They came and then looked, and saw down below
there sat a shy beaver. They all said, “Hello!”

Boris the Beaver came nervously out,
and looked at his twigs all just lying about.
He needed them badly, so what could he do?
Sitting, he sighed, now his dream won’t come true.
“I think these are yours,” said Reggie the Rat,
lifting the bundle and handing them back.

Boris just stared for a moment or two,
then shyly, he smiled, and whispered, “Thank you.”
“Are you building your dam?” asked Timmy Mouse.
“How is it made? Is it also your house?”
Boris looked down at the ground, and he sighed,
“I’m not very clever,” he sadly replied.

Then they sat down, and he told them his tale,
“I try every year, but each time I fail.
Then some of the beavers laugh at my dam,
telling the others how silly I am.
My dream is one day I’ll win a small prize,
but, it won’t happen.” Tears welled in his eyes.

Millie and Vicky and Reggie the Rat,
moved over to where poor Boris had sat.
“Don’t be upset, we’ll all help if we can,”
Millie said softly, “but we’ll need a plan.
As none of us here will know what to do;
you’ll have to tell us so we can help you.”

Boris looked up, and he stared in surprise,
so overwhelmed, it was there in his eyes.
“You’ll help me?” He gasped. “You’d do that for me?”
He couldn’t believe it, as they could all see.
“Why not?” asked Tommy. “‘We’ll like helping you,
and we’ll have fun learning just what to do.”

So, Boris stood up and said to them all,
‘I’ll need more branches to build a high wall.
Then I’ll scoop mud up to fill any hole.”
“I can do that!” declared Vickie the Vole.
“Next, I’ll cut branches down with my strong teeth,
for winter stores–that I’ll build underneath.”

“Do they take long to build?” asked Tommy Mouse.
“It’s not just a dam; it’s also your house.”
“That was my problem, because I’m alone,
it takes me so long to build a nice home.
The others have family helping them build,
and they’re all clever, while I am not skilled.”

“We’ll be your fam’ly and, just like the rest,
we’ll work together to make it the best.”
Millie stood up, “Now where do we begin?
Do we need something to put the twigs in?”
Tommy jumped up and said, “Let’s use our cart.
I’ll go and get it and then we can start.”

It took a few days to build it just right.
When Boris stood back, he beamed with delight.
“We’ve done it!” he cried. “We’ve built it in time.
I can’t wait to hear what they all think of mine!”
His dam was so good, no water could pour
into his home or his winter food store.

Next day was the contest; judges came round,
they poked and prodded to check it was sound.
The style and comfort for winter’s long haul;
the food in the storeroom — checking it all.
Each judge made his notes before they passed by,
counting and counting in case of a tie.

Down at Beaver’s Hall, the crowds were all there,
sitting on benches, though some found a chair.
Everyone talking about who would win,
then one beaver pointed when Boris walked in.
“You don’t give up, do you?” one of them called,
as he sat down at the back of the hall.

Timmy and Tommy and all of their friends,
waited to hear how the contest would end.
They peeped through the door–the judges stood up–
then watched as each one of them lifted the cup.
“Today, our great winner astonished us all,
he’s sat right there at the back of the hall.”

The hall went quiet–they all turned around,
staring at Boris, who looked at the ground.
“Boris, come up here,” the judge called aloud,
so he walked right to the front of the crowd.
“Never before can we say there has been
such a fine dam as this one we have seen!”

Everyone cheered, and he started to grin.
Was this still a dream, or did he just win?
He smiled and said, “Thank you.” They gave him the cup.
If this was a dream, then he wouldn’t wake up!
His friends were all there, and they laughed as they cheered,
it really was true–not a dream as he’d feared!

© 2019, Sandra Stoner-Mitchell. All rights reserved.

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