Living for the Spring Flood
A tightly wound, frowning, busy beaver, Berish came to a particularly fine river bend in a valley one warm day in late spring. Nomadic Berish wore a scarred skin cloak thirty eight beaver years in age. As he gazed upon the river, his mind skimmed over the hundreds of rivers he had encountered before. Berish remembered his instinctual, habitual, eternal practice he burned into his brain upon finding river; he would fashion himself a permanent residence from the felled trees and snapped branches along the banks. Every hour of each day when he wasn’t eating or wasn’t sleeping, Berish was working. He was a very busy, very tired beaver. He lived alone.
Berish was building a new home because his last attempt at fashioning a installation, like all the ones before it, deteriorated with the spring snow-melt floods. It seemed that no structure or design of his, no matter how complex or well designed, could withstand the mighty flows rushing river. All the same, Berish forced his beaver self to believe that one day he could succeed, and once he did, he would not have to be such a busy beaver. He kept this goal in mind as he laid the first log.
Berish worked the seasons away, working so strenuously that at the end of every day his teeth would be numb from gnawing and his tail would be bruised from packing down sticks and dirt. By now Berish’s den had become a veritable dam, taking up most of the river. It was his most imposing creation yet.
The immense wooden sight peering out of the river prompted Ryan, a river otter, to swim up to busy Berish, who didn’t even look up as she asked
“What are you doing here in the river?”
“Preparing” Berish blurted back tersely,
“For what?” Ryan pressed
“Spring. The rivers will flood. I must finish my project before it’s too late “ Berish answered nervously.
“Why?” A naive Ryan replied. She’d never seen a dam before.
“Because then maybe my home will survive this year’s flood” Berish explained.
“Really? You live in this little thing? Ryan gasped
Berish exploded, this hurt his pride “Little!!! It takes up most of the river! It has taken me months and months of work to build, and you call it little?!!”
Ryan qualified her question: “Well it’s little compared to my home. I live in the rivers. They never stop running, never need repairing, and don’t get demolished by spring floods.”
“I’m a beaver.” Berish sternly stated, “and beavers live in dens. When their den is destroyed they find a new river and build a new den. It’s what we do.”
“But are you happy the way it is? Everything you work so hard for day after day is bound to get destroyed in the spring. Beavers can swim. Why don’t you try not resisting what all of us in the forest know is going to come.”
Berish was tired. He had spent his whole life on the rivers, but not once in all those sweat drenched sore days had he swam and just let the current take him. He looked into the river-mirror and saw his exhausted, wrinkled, frowning façade..
He dove in.
The water was more cool than he ever remembered it, the wet wind caressed every strand of fur in his body. Without looking back, Berish swam down the winding river. He left his fabrication for the floods, and a content smile welcomed a current as he went with a flow of freedom he’d never felt before.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
the second oldest castle in Wales,
the second oldest castle in Wales,
and an excellent school.