Here to return to
TIMOTHY TURTLE was so angry that he went about snapping at everybody and everything. And since the whole Beaver family kept carefully out of his way, he had to content himself with setting his jaws upon roots and sticks.
Now, the Beavers' dam was made of sticks and mud. So Timothy found plenty of chances to bite. And because he could not hurt the sticks, no matter how much he tried, nobody cared.
Really he acted in a most silly, surly fashion.
Out of a corner of his eye Brownie Beaver watched Timothy Turtle closely. Brownie had not forgotten how Timothy seized his mother by the tail. And while he was helping his elders on the dam, at the same time he was trying to think of some way to outwit Timothy Turtle.
It happened that just at that time the dam needed a great deal of mending. There were so many holes to be filled that the Beavers worked all night long. And in spite of all their efforts they saw that even then a few leaks would have to go unmended. But they did not get snappish nor lose their tempers. They were not like Timothy Turtle. Though he slept a great part of the night, and waked up to watch the workers early in the morning, his temper was worse than ever.
He was paddling through the water close to the dam when Brownie Beaver called to him.
"You see that stick?" said Brownie, pointing to a stout piece of box elder that stuck out of the dam.
"I'm not blind," Timothy Turtle snarled back at him.
"Well, please don't bite it, anyhow!" Brownie Beaver begged him.
That was enough for Timothy Turtle. The mere fact that he thought somebody didn't want him to do a certain thing was sure to make him do it. So without saying another word he seized that stick in his powerful jaws. And bracing his feet against the inner side of the dam, half in the water and half out, he pulled with all his strength.
Now and then he turned his beady eyes toward Brownie Beaver and frowned at him, as if to say, "Don't give me any orders, young fellow! I shall do just as I please; and nobody can stop me."
Timothy noticed that Brownie went to a number of the other workers and whispered to them. And when everyone to whom he spoke called to Timothy and asked him if he wouldn't just as soon let go of that stick and grab another one, that crusty old codger made up his mind that nobody should move him from that spot. He took an even firmer hold and tugged as if he meant to tear the whole dam down.
But the Beaver family knew
that he couldn't do any damage. And as soon as it was light enough they
went home to take a nap, leaving Timothy Turtle to pull away to his