Sunday, 31 May 2009

No sniggering at the back, please.

The naturalists among us were no doubt excited to hear of the recent re-introduction of beavers to the Scottish countryside, after a 400-year absence.

Headline writers and 14-year-olds were probably quite pleased, too. It must be like having all your birthdays and Christmases fall at once. I am going to resist all temptations to write any beaver puns. No, really.

In any case, it was this detail that concerned me:
Overnight three families of European beaver, 11 animals in all, were released into this landscape, which forms a natural enclosure of hill and rugged coast.
11 animals? Surely that's going to cause all sorts of issues? Before you know it, they'll have split into five happy beaver couples, all enjoying productive beaver lives.

But the 11th beaver is going to be left out on his own.

Imagine the awkwardness. Oh, sure, the others will put of a front of civility. But once the weeks turn into months, it's just going to be harder and harder.

"We just can't invite Barry to the dinner party darling, we can't. He'll end up sitting on his own and being miserable. Then he'll move onto the drinks cabinet, like last time. I wouldn't mind, but he gnawed his way through the door to get at the Amaretto."

And so let us picture Barry the beaver in his solitude. Alone he sits, in his lodge, after a hard day's damming, heating up his ready-meals for one. "Sod 'em all," he mutters to himself. "I'm happy as I am."

But I can see him going rapidly downhill. Drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag, Barry spends his days listlessly surfing the Internet for anything beaver-related.

And that's not going to end well, is it?


Country Girl said...

See, the way I read history, this is how English history worked. That eleventh beaver? He's gonna father three out of the five ATTACHED female beavers kids. Then he's gonna go home, put his feet up and have a beer. While someone else does bottle time in the middle of the night.

I'm just sayin.

City Girl said...

Living in Alabama, I'm more concerned with the question of inbreeding. Five families? Is that all?

Within a generation the Scottish countryside will be full of beavers wearing mullets and patchy facial hair, driving old Muscle Cars and cutting the sleeves off all their little beaver shirts.

This will, indeed, end badly.

greeneggsandtam said...

City Girl- I think the solution is clear. Castor canadensis. Add a Canadian to the mix and there you have it. Beavers, beer, hockey and mullets. It's a combination that can't be topped. Why am I actually envisioning this?


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