Here to return to
ALL day long Timothy Turtle stayed on the Beaver dam. And when the Beavers returned in the evening, to resume their work, they found Timothy still clinging to the box elder stick.
To Timothy Turtle's deep disgust the plump workers gathered round him and laughed. He could never bear to hear people laugh – laughing was so silly, he always said. And now Brownie Beaver laughed louder than all the rest.
"Look!" Brownie cried, pointing straight at Timothy Turtle. "Isn't he kind? He has stopped up that big hole for us all day.... And now" – Brownie added, turning to Timothy Turtle – "now if you'll kindly stop working for us and move aside we'll fill that hole that's right under you, with mud."
Timothy Turtle never felt more ashamed in all his long life. There he had been working all day long, helping the Beaver family by plugging a hole in their dam –with his flat body – and he had never guessed what he was doing!
He let go of the stick and sank hastily in the pond, where the water was deepest, to bury himself in the soft bottom. And there he stayed and sulked for the rest of the week, until his visit was done. If he stuck his head out of the water now and then for a breath of air, he was careful to let no one see him.
He did not even bid the Beaver family good-by at the end of his visit, but left in the middle of the day, when everybody was sound asleep.
Grandaddy Beaver said it was no more than one could expect of a person so rude as Timothy Turtle.
"He was just like that in my great-grandfather's time," the old gentleman explained.
And all the rest of the villagers remarked that Timothy Turtle was old enough to have better manners. Certainly, they said, the youngest Beaver child knew better than to treat people in such a rude fashion.
Brownie Beaver's mother especially announced that she had never in all. her life met a gentleman who had treated her so disrespectfully as old Mr. Turtle. And she grew red and pale by turns as she recalled how he had seized her by the tail and held her fast for a whole day.
"I hope," she said, "that by the time he comes here again he will have learned how to behave himself."
But Grandaddy Beaver shook his head. "Timothy Turtle," he declared, "will be no different even if he lives to be a thousand years old."
And everybody said that it was a great pity.Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.