The Tale of Brownie Beaver

by Arthur Scott Bailey

Chapter 11: “Bad News”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1916
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Bailey, A. S. (1916). The Tale of Brownie Beaver. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 5.0
  • Word Count: 599
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Keywords: 20th century literature, american literature, children's stories, sleepy-time tales
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“Have you heard the news?” Tired Tim asked Brownie Beaver one day. “There’s going to be a cyclone.”

“A cyclone?” Brownie exclaimed. “What’s that? I never heard of one.”

“It’s a big storm, with a terrible wind,” Tired Tim explained. “The wind will blow so hard that it will snap off big trees.”

“Good!” Brownie Beaver cried. “Then I won’t have to cut down any more trees in order to reach the tender bark that grows in their tops.”

Tired Tim laughed. “You won’t think it’s very ‘good,’” he said, “when the cyclone strikes the village.”

“Why not?” Brownie inquired.

“Because—“ said Tired Tim—”because the wind will blow every house away. It will snatch up the sticks of which the houses are built and carry them over the top of Blue Mountain. Then I guess you’ll wish you had taken my advice and not built that new house of yours.

“I shall be safe enough,” the lazy rascal continued. “All I’ll have to do will be to crawl inside my house in the bank; for the wind can’t very well blow the ground away.”

Brownie Beaver thought that Tired Tim was just trying to scare him.

“I don’t believe there’s going to be any such thing!” he exclaimed.

“Don’t you?” Tim grinned. “You just go and ask Grandaddy Beaver. He’s the one that says there’s going to be a cyclone.”

At that Brownie Beaver stopped working and hurried off to find old Grandaddy Beaver. And to his great dismay, Grandaddy said that what Tired Tim had told him was the truth.

“It’s a-coming!” Grandaddy Beaver declared. “I saw one once before in these parts, years before anybody else in this village was born. And when I see a cyclone a-coming I can generally tell it a long way off.”

“When is it going to get here?” Brownie asked in a quavering voice.

“Next Tuesday!” Grandaddy replied.

“What makes you think it’s coming?”

“Well—everything looks just the way it did before the last cyclone,” Grandaddy Beaver explained, as he took a mouthful of willow bark. “The moon looks just the same and the sun looks just the same. I had a twinge of rheumatics in my left shoulder yesterday; and today the pain’s in my right. It was exactly that way before the last cyclone.”

Brownie Beaver did not doubt that the old gentleman knew what he was talking about. He remembered that Grandaddy Beaver had warned everyone there was going to be a freshet. And though people had laughed at the old chap, the freshet had come.

Sadly worried, Brownie went and called on all his neighbors and asked them what they were going to do. And to his surprise he found that they were laughing at Grandaddy once more. They seemed to have forgotten about the freshet.

But Brownie Beaver could not forget that dreadful night. And now he tried to think of some way to keep his new house from being blown away by the great wind, which Grandaddy Beaver said was coming on Tuesday without fail.