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ALMOST always the wild folk in Pleasant Valley knew that if they wanted to see Timothy Turtle they could find him somewhere in Black Creek. But once in a great while he liked to go on what he called "an excursion." By that he meant a pleasure trip to some spot not too far away – never outside of Pleasant Valley.
Nobody meeting Timothy Turtle on one of those journeys would have suspected that he w as bent on pleasure. Or at least, nobody would have supposed that Mr. Turtle had found what he was looking for. Certainly if he was hunting for fun, he never looked as if he had discovered any. For no smile showed itself upon his face. Instead, he met every one with a frown. And if a body gave him a cheery "Good morning," just as likely as not Timothy would answer with a grunt, and pass on.
Naturally, when Timothy Turtle arrived anywhere and told people that he expected to spend a few days among them they did not feel any great joy at the news. On the contrary, they were quite likely to say to one another, "I hope he won't stop long," or "He looks more grumpy than ever." And some would even remark that they wished Timothy Turtle would go home and stay there.
So no one of the Beaver colony was glad when Timothy appeared in their pond one day and explained that he intended to be in the neighborhood at least a week. In the first place, the Beavers, as a whole, were a busy, cheerful family, who did not like disagreeable folk for company. And in the second place, they were spry workers; and they had little use for anybody as slow as Timothy Turtle, who never did any work at all.
It is no wonder, then, that as soon as the news of Timothy's coming spread up and down and across the pond, the busy Beavers stopped their work and said things about the crusty outsider who had forced himself upon them. And almost everybody went to call upon Grandaddy Beaver and asked him what he thought ought to be done.
Now, Grandaddy was a good old soul. And he told the hot-headed younger members of the colony to keep cool, which seems a simple thing for them to have done, swimming about as they were in the icy water, which flowed down from springs on the side of Blue Mountain. "Timothy Turtle has been here before," Grandaddy Beaver announced. "I can remember my great-grandfather's telling me about his passing two whole weeks in our pond. And though everybody wished he would leave, he never harmed anybody, because people kept out of his way." "Well, he ought to work while he's here," said a brisk gentleman, tugging at his moustache.
"Timothy Turtle will never lift his hand to do a single stroke of work," said old Grandaddy Beaver. "He has already spent a long life without working. And he'll be lazy if he lives to be a hundred years old – or even a hundred and fifty."
Now, a young chap called Brownie Beaver heard all this, as he stood in Grandaddy's doorway and peeped inside the house. And he thought it was a shame that somebody couldn't make Timothy Turtle mend his ways. To Brownie Beaver it seemed that Timothy Turtle was old enough to behave himself
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