The Tale of Brownie Beaver

by Arthur Scott Bailey

Chapter 13: “A Lucky Find”

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: 768
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Keywords: 20th century literature, american literature, children's stories, sleepy-time tales
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Brownie Beaver almost wished he hadn’t spent so much time waiting for Grandaddy to tell him to tie down his house so it wouldn’t be carried away by the big wind on the following day. With no rope—or anything else—to tie the house with, Brownie could not see that Grandaddy’s advice was of any use to him.

Anyhow, he was glad he had done as Tired Tim had suggested and dug a house in the bank, where he could hide until the storm passed. But he felt sad at the thought of losing his comfortable home. And since he could hardly bear to look at it and imagine how dreadful it would be to have it blown over the top of Blue Mountain into Pleasant Valley, Brownie went for a stroll through the woods to try to forget his trouble.

He found himself at last in a clearing, where loggers had been at work. They had chopped down many trees. And the sight made Brownie Beaver angry.

“This is an outrage!” he cried aloud. “I’d like to know who has been stealing our trees. I suppose it’s Farmer Green; for they say he’s always up to such tricks.” He took a good look around. And then he turned to go back to the village and tell what he had discovered.

Just as he turned he tripped on something. And something clinked beneath his feet. It didn’t sound like a stone. So Brownie Beaver looked down to see what was there.

Now, in his anger he had quite forgotten the great storm. But as he saw what had tripped him he remembered it again. But he was no longer worried.

“Hurrah!” Brownie cried. “Here’s just what I need!” And then he hurried back home again—but not to tell about the trees that had been stolen. He hastened home to chain down his house and save it from the great wind. For Brownie Beaver had found a chain, which the loggers had used to haul the logs out of the woods, and had forgotten.

It was almost dark when Brownie reached his house in the village in the pond. He was never a very good walker. And dragging that heavy chain behind him through the forest only made him slower than ever. Sometimes the chain caught on a bush and tripped him. But Brownie was so pleased with his find that he only laughed whenever he fell, for he was not hurt.

The whole village gathered round his house to watch him while he tied the chain on it and anchored the ends of the chain to the bottom of the pond with a big stone.

“Why do you do that?” people asked.

“He’s afraid of the cyclone tomorrow,” Tired Tim piped up, without waiting for Brownie to answer. “You know, old Grandaddy Beaver says that there’s going to be a great wind. This young feller—” said Tim—“he’s already dug a house in the bank near mine—ha! ha! He thinks Grandaddy knows. But I say that Grandaddy Beaver is a—a fine, noble, old gentleman,” Tired Tim stammered. He had happened to glance around while he was talking; and to his surprise there was Grandaddy floating in the water close behind him.

“He certainly is,” everybody agreed. “But we hope he’s mistaken about the great wind.”

When Tuesday came—which was the very next day—Brownie Beaver crept into his tunnel in the bank at sunrise. And he never came outside again until the sun had set.

When he saw that his house was still there, in the middle of the pond, he shouted with joy.

“Hurrah!” he cried. “The chain saved my house!” Then he noticed that all the other houses were still there, too. “How’s this?” he asked Tired Tim, who stood on the bank beside him. “Did my chain save the whole village?”

Tired Tim grinned—for he was not too lazy to do that.

“There wasn’t any cyclone,” he said. “There wasn’t a breath of wind all day. And old Grandaddy Beaver is so upset that he’s gone to bed and won’t talk with anybody.”