Monday, October 31, 2005

Chapter 10

Rodger was busy with his dam. The trick to building a good dam was to leave a wedge on one side and allow water to run over top. Then you could reinforce one portion and slack on the rest.

Rodger’s goal was total water control with a minimal effort. Of course, there were immediate goals, intermediate goals, and overall goals. Rodger’s immediate goal was to chew a tree trunk into perfectly proportioned lumber. Rodger’s immediate goal was to build a perfectly proportioned dam with perfect water control. The overall goal was to attract a beautiful female beaver to share the dam, the water, and a family with him for the season. Rodger felt strongly that one must have long and short goals if one is to measure up in this life.

The view on the riverbank was lovely that morning. The sun was coming up and catching the curve of the water as it flowed between some wedges that formed the scaffolding of the new dam.

But Rodger had no room in his mind. His thoughts overflowed with dam schemes.

At the moment he was putting together a particularly fine dam (they all were). As much as he loved the mental work within his brain, cutting trees was his principle pleasure. Rodger felt that all beavers were adequate at this, but he considered himself expert. It was true that he often admired the work of his neighbors, which he’d never dare to admit aloud, and even had difficulty admitting it to himself. But he simply marveled at his own work. When he came across one of his earlier stumps, from which he felt immeasurably improved, he could see at a glance his craftwork. No waste, not a single bite too many, and not a single bite too few.

It wasn’t only the way he carved out the wood, no. It was the result of the carving. He cut each piece of wood exactly, to fit within the dam perfectly. Each piece of wood served a purpose to the overall structure.

Rodger’s ability to design, to put together, and to make each piece as an individual part of the whole was exact. Rodger’s dams had no spare parts, and certainly no missing parts. In fact, other than total water control, Rodger’s other mantra was “No piece wasted, No piece missing.” Because of this, because the dams could not be made better, Rodger took them to be perfect.

The actual jaw work was most pleasurable. Rodger’s massive jaws pushed his teeth through the wood as easily as water seeps through reeds. The smell of the freshly cut wood filled his nose with the odor of his labor.

Rodger pulled back as a sharp little object flew into his vision. It was a bee.

Rodger was not afraid of bees. “Hello there, out hunting for flowers?” Rodger was in a good mood. His morning was going very well, like each morning before and like each morning to come.

“Hello there. Actually no. I’m out hunting for large animals. Are you one?”

“Well, I might be, to a little bee. Do you get that often?”

Nime didn’t know what the creature was talking about, so she said, “Yes.”

“Oh. Right. Sorry.” Rodger introduced himself as “Rodger, Master Builder, Master Beaver.”

Nime had never met a beaver before. “I’m Nime, I’m a bee.”

“Why would you seek out a large animal? Large animals have a tendency for trouble, even with your sharp little stinger.”

Nime answered, “I’m looking for a large animal who might be interested in a trade.”

“A trade?”

Nime explained. She told the story about as well as you’ve heard it by now. She started with the wasp attack, which she made even more thrilling with a demonstration of her flying abilities. Her wings buzzed at the memory of her chase and her anger at the wasps. He interrupted, “It’s not the size of the bugs, it’s the size of the fight!” And he slapped his tail several times in appreciation and excitement. Nime didn’t mind that interruption one bit.

Nime moved on to how she was being nourished by the flower patch, which made her remember that she was with the flower patch during the wasp attack, which made her remember the flower’s desperate situation, and her talk with the mushrooms.

At the mention of the tree, Rodger looked up. He took a great interest in trees of all kinds.

Nime continued her story. It was all very touching to Rodger. The tree was in the way, the flowers were in the shade.

Rodger interrupted finally, “What do you need the large animal for?”

Nime then explained the idea of trade, as best as she could. “The large animal will move the flowers, I’ll tell the large animal where the hive was. The large animal will eat the honey, and the wasps along with it. That is what a trade is, move the flowers in return for honey, and I will benefit because I will have my revenge.”

“Well, revenge is an excellent thing for your position. Have you considered not seeking it? Meeting up with your queen instead, finishing out the season...”

“No!” Nime knew that her services were not needed to the queen, even if the queen was alive. Worker bees die within the season, so she would meet her queen and die without further service to the hive. Nime looked alarmed at the thought of giving up revenge. The thought had never floated into her consideration, but she drowned it without another thought.

She spoke with a suddenness and surety that firmed up any doubt within her tiny body. The sudden assertion startled her, for she found not a drop of doubt within her. “No. It cannot be. My queen is lost to me. I must make my own path. The flowers have helped me, and they are my hive now. I must trade.”

Rodger smelled the full odor of the wood again, “Well, if it’s revenge against the wasps you’ve after, then you’ll need a plan. Wasps, size for size, are the most fearsome creatures in the forest. You’d be a mad creature to take them on. So one word of advice: don’t spoil your deal with mention of wasps.”

Nime knew this, but also knew of no way to avoid it. She hopped up and hovered. “I’ll be off then. If you do happen to see any large animals that may be of use, particularly those not in fear of the wasps, do tell them I’m in need, also one that may move the flowers to make them safe from the tree. Thank you..”

“OK.” Rodger looked suddenly up at her. He looked suddenly very fierce and brave and sure of himself, “I will be your large animal.”


Blogger Ilanna said...

I love it when new characters are introduced.... :) it's fun...

couple things (and this is my pet peeve, so i hope i don't offend at all...)
lumber is spelled with an e - Lumbar is the lower part of the back (which i'm SURE you are aware {grin}) but lumber, wood, is lumbEr. :)
Also, damn is a curse - dam blocks water. :) Just one of those things... I really do LOVE the story though - can't wait for the next chapter... :)

5:26 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Yeah, I'm a terrible speller. So if it doesn't get picked up by the spell checker, then it gets missed.

Amazingly, I'm consistently wrong as well. Oh well, I just can't seem to get spelling into my hed.

10:02 AM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

How apropos of Rodger to be!

I liked this chapter. I'm completely into anthropomorphism. I'd like you to make this a movie as well, please.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Oh yeah, now I get it.

Never even occured to me.

Anyway, thanks. I read over it and it seems so silly. But it's fun. Perhaps my kids will like it someday.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Ilanna said...

Nothing wrong with being a bad speller. My husband can't spell worth a damn. {grin} that's why people like me exist to proof read and repair. :) The story is so wonderful though regardless of spelling.

ANd lauren is right - this would make a great animated movie... or even a children's play. . .

8:55 AM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

It's not silly in the least. Just leave it to me to create something fatuous out of just about anything. It's what I do.

You keep on going. It's a wonderful thing when a person takes on the various facets of his or her personality and explores them all. Very cool.

9:36 AM  
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3:24 PM  
Blogger نور معاذ said...

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3:35 PM  

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