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...from page 47

The buck and doe pause, as if listening to my thoughts, then swim to the south shore on a silver moonstrip. A kit whimpers. The adults dive together re-surfacing next to their young.

I look up and know that the universe, however grand and complex, gives us fleeting moments of understanding.

…from page 23

The sun is hot and high. I climb across the board stretching from one of the fallen cedars to the lodge and look through the air hole. Each time, either the doe, the buck, or the yearling follows the bounding kit into the water and hoists the tiny, wet fur-ball back into the lodge.

With a splash the yearling dives through the plunge hole and surfaces on the other side of the lodge. Under a cedar branch the year-old beaver rolls onto its back like a swimmer on an air mattress. A shaft of bright sunlight streaks across its body; the wet belly-fur shines like copper. The yearling turns, dives with a mini-tail-flick, disappears, then rises poking its head through the plunge hole. A diving kit splashes into the water and is returned to the lodge platform in the yearling’s forepaws.


For my daughter, Michelle.

They say people come to know themselves through others. I have come to know of others through nature and, as a result, learned to know myself.

[ Michelle was 8 at the time. She is all grown up and I have two grandchildren now. Both older than she was at the time of writing the beaver book :) ]


The Beaver Nature’s Master Builder was published in 1989 by Hounslow Press of Toronto. The book is long out of print and all rights returned to me quite a few years ago now. It is time to share snippets.They will appear in this spot. In no particular order. Or rationale. Just what moves me in the moment. Also, I would like to thank all those who had a role to play in this book’s evolution way 

back when: a wonderful artist of wildlife and life in all its forms, Juliana Hawke who lives in Orillia, Ontario, Canada; Margaret Enever (then Kropman) who helped me with all facets related to my work on this project and who was a stalwart, organizing and putting into order the print research... so I could write right from it; Tony Hawke, the publisher who supported the book in myriad ways throughout its life; Gerry Williams who became a friend and who was instrumental in the book’s visual appeal... making it come alive on the page. He designed it! ; Dennis Mills, the editor, who took fragments of thought or exposition, often disjointed, and guided these into a "making-sense" whole. Dennis knew where my commas should go too! My always thanks to all. It was a team effort.

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