Your Trees are in My River Dammit
Brian Campbell

Mr. Beaver was just putting the final touches on the new dam when a shadow passed over him. He looked up and sighed.  That eagle was watching him again. “Now what?” he thought.

He swam back over to the lodge where his wife was patting down some fresh mud on the side. She gave him a concerned look. “What’s wrong honey?”

“It’s that eagle again.  He’s circling overhead, watching us.  Again!”

“Just ignore him.  We aren’t doing anything wrong.  We’re on our side of the border.”

“When has that ever stopped him?  You know what he’s like!  He… Oh hell!  Here he comes.”

“Be nice,” Mrs. Beaver admonished, as she ducked under the water and into their lodge.

The eagle settled on top of a dead tree protruding from the water next to the lodge. “Beaver! We need to talk.”

Mr. Beaver grumbled under his breath as he turned around. “What do you want Eagle?”

“You dammed up the river again.”

“Your powers of observation do you credit.”

“We discussed this last year Beaver.”

“We discussed nothing.  You told me to stop damming the river and I told you to blow it out your…”

“Whatever. The point is that this is my river and I don’t want it dammed and that’s final.”

“Your river!” Mr. Beaver exclaimed. “That dam is well on our side of the border, as is our lodge. The moment the river crosses the borderline it becomes our river to do with as we wish.  We need deep water to build our lodge.  And that, Eagle, is final.”

“That dam is backing up the river and flooding the land on my side of the border.  It is going to drive away my food.”

“As a matter of fact, Eagle, the pool of water we are creating will draw small animals from all over the forest to drink. Your food will be coming to my pool.  You should be thanking me. But you really don’t understand how construction works do you?  Have you ever built anything?”

“Of course I have. I built that nest up there.” Mr. Eagle gestured upwards with his wing.

Mr. Beaver looked up at the tall tree Eagle was pointing to, seeing the mass of leaves and twigs at the top. “A nest eh.  You must be very proud,” he said dryly.

“As a matter of fact I am, thank you.” Mr. Eagle preened.

“Hmff. You would be.”

Mr. Eagle glared at him.  “Enough discussion. I want those logs moved. Now! I won’t tell you again.”

“Good,” Mr. Beaver said. “I was getting tired of your squawking.”

“Move that dam or you will regret it.  I’ll be watching.”  Mr. Eagle spread his wings and soared swiftly to his nest.

Mr. Beaver glowered after him, then slowly slipped under the water. “We’ll see who regrets what.”

Mr. Eagle settled into his nest and began grooming his feathers while deciding how to best punish that beaver for his insolence.  Then his nest began to shake, slowly at first, then with increasing violence.  Mr. Eagle just managed to launch himself into the air before his whole tree came down.

It hit the water with a huge splash and crash that sent all forest creatures running for cover.  All, that is, except for Mr. Beaver, who was easing back into the river.

“Beaver!” Mr. Eagle screeched. “You’ve knocked down my tree and wrecked my nest!”

“As usual Eagle, your grasp of the obvious is impeccable.  But about that. Could you please move your nest?  It’s on our side of the border.” Mr. Beaver smiled as he sank beneath the surface of the water.