Will Rice and I are tromping around town last Sunday, looking for carp (nothing strange there). We run into Frank Smethurst, who has a buddy in tow and is chasing carp himself (a little stranger). Rice and I take it upon ourselves to give Mr. Smethurst a few tips on where to find said fish (borderline very strange). He relays said tips to said buddy, who plants himself on a bank while we spot from the bridge above (back to not strange).
Run-in, quantitatively analyzed
All of a sudden, all the fish in this big pod spook (carp – 1; strange – 0). Then Will sees this huge blob float through the hole and down under the bridge (carp – 1; strange – 1). I notice the huge blob has a paddle, and immediately identify it as a beaver of magnanimous proportions (carp – 1; strange – 2). I run to the other side of the bridge, but the beaver doesn’t appear (still carp – 1; strange – 2). A minute later, however, the beaver pops up right next to the bridge pylon, and begins eyeballing Frank’s friend (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 1). Then the beaver starts swimming directly towards Frank’s friend, at which point Frank’s friend skidaddles off the bank (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 2; anglers – minus 1). The beaver dives out of sight while we are scrambling for our cameras (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 3; anglers – minus 2). It is immediately obvious, even to the algebraicly challenged, that the beaver got the best of everyone and everything. Much as urban beavers do.
Mr. Rice decides we should get on our way, which yours truly agrees is a good idea since he has already had a nasty run-in with a beaver once in his life. Ok, maybe a few more than that, but who’s counting. On our stroll back to the car we spy a felled tree. I’d seen this earlier in the day but thought it was part of a half-completed river restoration project. On closer inspection, however, we put two and two together – or make that three and three, because by our final count something with big teeth and a lot of time on their hands had gnawed three trees down in the last week or so.
I believe the moral of this story is don’t mess with urban beavers. They spook the carp, chase away the anglers, are camera shy, and chop down trees when nobody is looking.
MG signing off (to tell the DOW to leave that beaver alone, because it’ll keep the anglers in check)