My Beaver is Dead

My beaver is dead.

Driving through the mist on my way to work this morning, I came upon a big brown lump in the road, and, as I held my breath, my eyes traced the line of its back to the fat, flat tail of a beaver. My beaver. I died then, too.

My beaver took up half the road; she was a legend, a myth, a giant, and a dream in the mist lying dead in the soft light of early morning.

My distant friend who would notice me night after night but would not disappear despite my heavy footfall was a marvel. This was the best part of my day, the very best part of my walk: to come across this wonderful creature being her marvelous self in the slick water of our little pond and through the pipes that lead to the sprawling swamp across the road. She was fun, fat, wonderful, and sure. She was capable and brilliant. I admired all she did to enrich our ecosystem, which was plenty.

That beautiful beaver would watch me as I watched her. So many years of being in the same place at the same time made that possible. These years have taught me that respect is a vibe, an understanding and an acceptance and an admiration--all of which come with time. Respect is not a right but an earned privilege. Anything less than that is merely tolerance.

One evening when I was watching the beaver and the beaver was watching me, a neighbor came along and asked me what I was staring at. "The beaver," I said.

Of course. She took out her cell phone and took pictures because her husband didn't believe in the beaver he had not seen. The beaver watched us as we watched her; this was a moment of pure, unrivaled joy. My neighbor has the evidence.

When I was out for a walk tonight, I came upon a mama Canada goose and her two goslings. No partner. Something else that isn't right with the world, I thought. Where was the papa? These three Canada geese were dangerously near the road on a gray, misty night. So near where the beaver had been killed. I stood and watched and waited while the three fed so near the road. I stood in the rain until I was drenched and they finally returned to a safe place away from the road and the fools in their self-important hurries.

You who hit the beaver: I hope your heart is broken. I hope you are ashamed of yourself--angry with and ashamed of yourself. You have robbed us. You have stripped us of a queen. I hope you feel it. Hate yourself for what you have done. For a little while.

Otherwise, we have no hope.


  1. Oh, Sandy! I am so sorry! That is so heartbreaking! I do so agree with all that you've written and I hurt for the loss. My loving thoughts are with you.


  2. Sandy I am so sorry to read this. Very sad and a fitting tribute post for the beaver.

  3. Sandy, this is so sad. I fully agree with your thoughts.

  4. Life is enriched as we enjoy nature and the creatures that inhabit our world. Man too is one of them, blinded many times by worldly pressures, needing our forgiveness and understanding also.

  5. Oh, Sandy. This is so sad. You're having such heart-wrenching losses this month. I'm so sorry. I can understand your anger and bitterness. You want them to care. You need them to care. I hope that they do. I'm sorry. :(

  6. So sorry.

    Allow yourself to think it may have been a pure lost a good friend though..

    Aloha from Hawaii

    Comfort Spiral

  7. I can feel your pain, and I am very, very sorry. There is so much in your post that touches something deep within, as I recognize all the feelings and sentiments. There is connection we make with living things and it stays with us forever.
    One day, you will meet your beaver again...

  8. This is awful! I lament this loss with you. Such a beautiful creature and now she is gone. I too understand your anger. I am angry too! How dare that person be so careless! And if not careless...then I hope their hearts are broken too!
    Hugging you

  9. I got this same sick feeling when we came upon a Red-shouldered Hawk that had been struck down on the road. You rarely see them they are forest hawks. I have never seen one on a road. I can't imagine why it was there. So sad...

  10. We have beavers here at the Swamp. Such hard, industrious workers they are. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of Mama Beaver.

  11. oh sandy, I am so sorry. never have seen a ebaver
    nice day

  12. (((hugs))) No words, just hugs.

  13. While in TN this weekend my friend explained how she stops for turtles and occasionally she gets out of the car to help speed them across the road.

    Sadly I am sure that whoever killed the beaver didnt even know it hit something living ...

  14. So sad to hear your loss. I guess that it's a sorry loss too for whoever hit the beaver.

  15. I'm so sorry you lost your beaver, Sandy. It's hard to know what to say to someone whose long-time friend is now gone, just sorry.

  16. in our space
    all the race

    Where sperits dwell

  17. I agree Sandy.
    But I noticed cars, when they see an animal like a dog or cat, speed up to kill it.
    and I shudder because there could be a child chasing the cat or dog to save it.
    The laws don't help because in some places they pass laws saying if your car hits a cow the farmer is responsible for the car damages so the drivers use this as an excuse to speed up and destroy life.
    Sometimes I think man is evil or at least these people who do this are. Cold, desensitized, with no heart.:(
    Thanks for giving me an excuse to express this.

  18. brutal.
    I took photos just a few weeks ago of a local beaver. I can't imagine it not being the fixture it is.

    so sad,
    so sad.

  19. The beaver has been a meaningful animal to me, and I understand this loss, Sandy.

  20. I am angry and in pain with you, Sandy. I felt I own her too! And I felt robbed as well.

  21. Anonymous12:57 PM

    So sorry to read of the beaver's passing. So terribly sad. A wonderfully written post in memory of your Queen of the pond.


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