Looking out on the lake from our sun porch the other day I saw the beaver in the two photos below approaching the shore. At least ten years ago I planted a willow tree in the yard that goes down to the lake a few feet above the fire pit you can also see in those photos. I surrounded that tree with a circular fence but after four years I figured my tree was safe from danger and removed the fence.
About a week later I was again looking out from the sun porch, this time early in the morning. My lovingly cared for tree was gone except for a few long branches presumably waiting to be dragged toward the south end of the lake along with the rest of the tree already taken there. But who, I wondered, was the villain who had taken it?
At the base of my lost tree were neatly carved teeth marks, clear evidence of a beaver I had been naive enough until then to consider my friend. I had even named him Davy in honor of a bar on Chautauqua Lake in western New York that my father had frequented when I was a kid.
I have no idea of the life span of a beaver. My nephew thinks my current beaver, the one in the photo, has got to be “the son of Davy” or even “the son of the son of Davy.” But whatever generation of lake beavers he belongs to, when I saw him menacingly return to our shore the other day I knew in my heart he was the same beaver, now an aging old geyser, who had once made off with my still ungrown willow tree. I was certain the villain was Davy.