The Tale of Brownie Beaver

by Arthur Scott Bailey

Chapter 12: “Grandaddy Beaver Thinks”

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: 587
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Keywords: 20th century literature, american literature, children's stories, sleepy-time tales
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |


It was on a Friday that Brownie Beaver first heard the cyclone was coming. And after making sure that Grandaddy Beaver knew what he was talking about when he said the great wind would sweep down upon the village on the following Tuesday, Brownie spent a good deal of time wondering what he had better do.

He wanted to save his house from being blown over the top of Blue Mountain. And he wanted to save himself from being carried along at the same time.

Before Friday was gone Brownie Beaver began to heap more mud and sticks upon his house, to make it stronger. And when Tired Tim came swimming past the lazy scamp laughed harder than ever.

“I see you’re afraid of the cyclone,” he called. “But what you’re doing won’t help you any. The wind will blow away those sticks easily enough. What you ought to do is to dig a house like mine in the bank. Then you won’t have to worry about any cyclone.”

So Brownie set to work and made him a house like Tired Tim’s. On Monday he had finished it. But he didn’t like his new home at all.

“It’s no better than a rat’s hole,” he said. “My family have never lived in such a place and I’m not used to it. I prefer my house that’s built of sticks and mud. And I’m going to see if there isn’t some way I can make it safe.”

So Brownie went to Grandaddy Beaver again and asked him what he ought to do.

The old gentleman said he would try to think of a plan to save Brownie’s house.

“I wish you would hurry,” Brownie urged him. “Today is Monday; and tomorrow the cyclone will be here. What are you going to do to your own house, Grandaddy?”

“My house—” said Grandaddy Beaver—“my house is very old. It has had mud and sticks piled upon it every season for over a hundred years. You can see for yourself that it’s much bigger than yours. And I reckon it’s strong enough to stay where it is, no matter how hard the wind blows. But your house is different. Let me think a minute!” the old gentleman said.

Brownie waited in silence while the old gentleman thought, with his eyes shut tight. Brownie watched him for a long time. Once or twice he thought he heard something that sounded like a snore. But he knew it couldn’t be that—it was only the thoughts trying to get inside Grandaddy’s head.

At last Grandaddy sat up with a start.

“Have you thought of something?” Brownie inquired.

“What’s that?” Grandaddy asked. “Oh, yes! I’ve a good idea,” he said. “What you must do is to tie your house so the wind can’t blow it away.”

Brownie thanked him. And he went away feeling quite happy again—until he reached home and started to follow Grandaddy’s advice. Then he saw that he had forgotten something. He hadn’t anything with which to tie his house and make it safe from the cyclone.