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TIMOTHY TURTLE'S visit at the beaver pond was just like all of his outings. Wherever he went he was so disagreeable and snappish that there wasn't a single person in the whole village that didn't wish Timothy had stayed away from that place.
He was forever grumbling, complaining that the fishing was poor in the pond. And as for frogs, he declared that he hadn't seen even one.
"Why anybody wants to live here is more than I can understand." That was what Timothy Turtle told everyone he met. And of course it was a poor way of making himself welcome.
"Why do you come here, if you don't like our pond?" people asked him.
"It's a change for me," was Timothy's reply. "After I've spent a week with you I'll be pretty glad to get back home again. And I won't want to go on another excursion for a whole year – or maybe two. "It's twenty years since I was here before. And I sha'n't care to come again for forty, at least."
such dreadfully rude remarks hurt the Beaver
family's feelings. And when Timothy Turtle seized a fat lady by the
day and wouldn't let her go until sunset, her feelings were hurt most
She cried that she had never been so insulted in all her life.
Timothy Turtle merely said that she ought not to object. He explained that he had been giving her a rest – for of course she couldn't cut down a tree, nor work upon the dam that held the water in the pond, while he clung fast to her tail. Well, this fat lady happened to be Brownie Beaver's mother. And after her disagreeable experience with the stranger, Brownie made up his mind that he would make Timothy Turtle work. That was the worst punishment he could think of.
Whenever the members of the Beaver family were not sleeping, or eating, either they were gathering food by cutting down trees, or they were mending their dam.
The dam always had leaks here and there. And sooner or later every one of them had to be stopped, before it grew so big that the water would rush through it and tear a hole so great that the pond would be drained dry.
During his stay among the Beavers Timothy Turtle often crawled on top of the dam and stretched himself out and watched the Beavers at their task. He said that if there was one thing that he liked to see more than another it was "a gang of men working." But he complained that they ought to work in the daytime, when the sun was shining, because then it would have been "much pleasanter for him."
"Don't you want to help us?" asked the brisk fellow who had told Grandaddy Beaver that he thought Timothy Turtle ought to go to work.
That question actually made Timothy snort.
"Me work?" he snapped scornfully, as he glared at the speaker.
Everybody knew what he meant. And everybody knew how Timothy felt, too, when he edged along the dam and made a savage pass at the plump gentleman who had spoken to him.
Luckily the brisk Beaver jumped aside before Timothy Turtle's jaws closed on him. And he did not say another word to the stranger during the rest of his stay at the pond.
But Timothy Turtle became quite talkative. He stopped all he met – old and young both – and warned them that nobody need try to get him to work, for he never had worked, and he never intended to.
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