Image by carljohnson via Flickr
Had a splendid evening paddle yesterday out on the confluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson. Put in at Waterford, a village that knows how to exploit its waterfront (something much bigger cities around here don’t seem to be able to figure out), and paddled around the lovely channels, up to the foot of the last little waterfall on the Mohawk, played around in the current for a bit and then headed back. Gliding along, I was surprised to hear what sounded like a bowling ball plunging into the water – far from where anyone could have tossed a rock, and it would have had to have been a hell of a rock. So I hung back for a minute to see if I could figure out what had made that noise, thinking perhaps I had come upon the Carp of the Apocalypse. Then I saw the little head, pointy ears, beady eyes: castor canadensis, Monsieur Beavair. Then the descendant of many splendid hats decided to threaten me again with a splendid thwack. I backed away but, being a man, did not leave. I was trying to figure out where his little house of sticks was. Then the furbearer, whose ancestors were more valuable than money just a few miles south and four centuries back, gave me a third and fourth warning. I decided he’d had enough and I was late for dinner so I had to leave the channel. But let’s be clear: I did not back down.
It happened that I was having dinner with not one but two people who, if they were doing their jobs, would take responsibility for the outrageous threats of this toothed water marmot. One chose to ignore my plight entirely; the other rolled her eyes and said “Peebles Island,” clearly familiar with the transgressions of this threat to our way of life. Did they do anything? They did not.
Monsieur Beavair? I’ll be back.