Friday, March 31, 2017
I've loved this beaver pond and the beavers who made it for a long, long time.
I've loved it since the dog was young, shiny, musclebound and springy, and given to standing up on any tree with a squirrel in it
and leaping up to trot smartly down the trunk of every fallen tree just to flaunt his good balance
like the Little Cat-Dog he is.
I've loved that pond since Phoebe was an ectomorphic elf
all angles and gangles, the grace and beauty still coalescing, revealing itself in bursts
Since Liam was swallowed by his bargain basement screaming yellow Lands End coat, just a tyke in rumpled jeans
given to believing that a fawn's jaw found glimmering in a stream
was that of a young hadrosaur which after all ate plants, and these were clearly plant-processing molars, right?
To which I replied, "Absolutely." And who was I to burst his Jurassic bubble?
You've heard of grand dams. It was the grandest of dams, huge and bulwarked with logs no ordinary wet rodent could hope to lug.
The damage was everywhere.
And so was the wonder.
Logging roads led up into the woods from the pond
and the beavers trudged them night and day, turning thick woods into a place fit for sun, saplings and grouse
and the velvet cups of mullein.
But they didn't stop at the main dam; no; they built three tiers just beneath. Sub-ponds. Spas. Who knows. They had Dean's Fork thoroughly dealt with.
We'd marvel at each fresh innovation, wonder at the nature of their plan,
and imagine the fish and newts and turtles beneath the surface.
Kingfishers rattled there; wood ducks paddled nervously and burst off the surface, squealing, always taking my breath away. Frogs of five species quacked and peeped and snored.
And the dog was young and funny, dashing in to grab leaf-boats launched upstream as they twirled by.
Yes, there's a story here, a song cycle, really, and I'll have more next time.