The work began, and the waters receded from the sides of the pond.
The old majestic pier was chopped down, and tree roots and empty fishing nurseries appeared also known as old tires and barrels. Deer tracks became prevalent in the mud, and the scooped pools of renowned fishing beds were brought to light, revealing the hatcheries of numerous eggs from days gone by.
And the waters subsided some more, to the point that the building of a new and glorious pier could begin.
With the recession of the waters came a wondrous discovery: the stream that fed the pond.
Now mind you, this is not just any old stream. It is a stream that has managed to continue past the building of the nefarious beavers and their two dams. As seen below, dams are not the cutesy dwellings as seen in the Chronicles of Narnia, nor are the creatures themselves nice and cuddly. For the sake of time in this story, we'll just call them mutant rats. And these mutant rats take trees and limbs and strip the sides of a pond bare to build a monstrous mess. Then they pile mud in around the mess, which will then produce growths of grass and seedlings and will acquire layers of pine straw. Quite sturdy the ugly little constructions are. Which is part of the reason I've never understood my father's admonitions to stay away from such creatures and their habitats.
So on this particular beautiful December day, to celebrate for the first time ever in the history of our marriage the ability to walk the entire circumference of our property, I embarked across the beaver dam. Halfway across, a mud pit was encountered. Perhaps it was a flaw in the dam, or the entrance to the beaver's home where their ancestral skeletal remains or an old arthritic mutant rat was sleeping. Maybe beaver dams are really not that structurally sound and the supports just gave way beneath my feet. But whatever reason, one leg was stuck almost knee deep. I lean forward to pull my leg out in hopes of keeping my shoe on, and my other leg sinks to the knee. I feel the mud seeping in.
You know how people talk about their lives flashing before their eyes? Mine didn't, but I did have a multitude of thoughts flash through my brain at one time. If I keep trying to save my shoes, my hands are sinking in this as well. My camera costs more than my shoes do...keep your waist above water. There could be snakes in here. A beaver could be here! They have sharp teeth. These sticks could trap my leg. Bobby can't see this spot from the house, and it's another 45 minutes before he gets home. This water is cold. Would he hear me if I yelled? Why can't this just be water underneath instead of muck and wood? What's Bobby going to say when he finds out I've lost my new orthopedic shoes?
I escape, shoeless and breathless. I temporarily pause and debate crawling back and attempting to retrieve my shoes, but sanity overrides and I gingerly make my way back to the house.
And as if to mock me even more, the first tree within grasping reach is one the beavers have chewed. A plant grows from its top, giving it the appearance of a planter combined with a bird house - a symbol of home.
And with that simple touch of irony, I go home and do what I should have been doing in the first place: putting up Christmas decorations.