Whenever I happen to see beavers mentioned in the papers over here, I send The Mom a link immediately. It’s a bit foolish of me as it gives her yet another reason to think I’m nuts for living here in the UK, with all the rain, the funny taps, the inefficient heating, and so on. But the fact that some bright spark has decided that the recently reintroduced beavers are going to help England with its flooding problem was simply too much for her.
“They’re what?” The Mom screeched over Skype.
“I know,” I said, and hung my head in shame.
“They haven’t had beavers here in 400 years. They don’t know any better.”
“You know better. You and all the other Canadians living there. You should tell someone.”
“We’re foreign. At the moment, not so popular here. Immigration and all that.”
“They don’t mind the beavers coming to stay, but people who pay taxes and know what a beaver will do are bad?”
“”Dear, I say this with your own best interests in mind. You really have to tell someone. Don’t you remember the havoc two pairs of beavers created at the Cedar Pond?”
“Well, yes, but who should I tell? Who? The Minister of Beavers? Besides, they have them up in Scotland and it’s the nightmare you’d imagine.”
“So they know better and they’re not doing anything about it?”
“No, they’re in a weird pissing contest. England, especially after the referendum, wants to rub it in Scotland’s face at every chance.”
“They’re going to prove they’re somehow better because they think they can control beavers?”
“I believe so, yes,” I replied.
“What a bunch of fools! That country is well and truly screwed. Never mind, I’ve brought your old couch in from the garage. You can have it back once the beavers take over and you’ve nowhere to live.”
The Mom exaggerates, but only just.
I’m, in many ways, delighted that there are beavers here in England, and that everyone is leaving them to do their thing. I don’t think they’re really going to sort out the flooding problem, which is really a climate change problem coupled with the foolishness of building on flood plains, and really what are beavers going to do about that? But I do like that, in what can only be obvious desperation, someone, somewhere thinks that beavers are going to be helpful.
Now don’t get me wrong. The beaver is a proud and noble creature. The beaver is a very Canadian thing. Of course I adore them. They’re really funny and a bit weird. But you have to know where you stand with a beaver. You can’t let them get too comfortable because if you do, all of a sudden, BAM! No trees, the river backs up for miles.