Dam*ed Beaver!

Living in the suburbs, I like to think that you get the best of both worlds; the convenience of the city isn’t too far away, and yet you’re close enough to nature that you might get to cultivate a garden, or get close to the native wildlife. Depending on the circumstances though, it can easily feel like the opposite. Got loud neighbors? Rowdy kids who bash in your mailbox overnight? Well, welcome to the city my friend! Worse, however, is when nature doesn’t know when to stay in its place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a tree-hugging, plant-loving vegan, but I don’t take kindly to an invasion of ants or aggressive weeds consuming that carefully planted garden. That cozy little home of yours right on the fringe of modernity and tradition is far more precariously perched than one might care to believe, in fact. It’s pretty hard to ignore this when the elements try to evict you every time the rains come pouring down and turning the basement into a swimming pool.

Shockingly enough, it wasn’t a downpour that flooded the lower level the other day when I ventured down the winding staircase to retrieve an old book. Having experienced a string of crystal-clear, sunny days, puzzlement and alarm sent me charging back up those stairs to investigate. Nope, no burst pipes or overflowing bath tubs to be found, so what on earth was going on? Inspecting the perimeter of the house in a last desperate effort, the problem quickly became much clearer. Mysteriously, our shallow little puddle of a swamp had become swollen and was now seeping into every open pore in the siding. Following the trail of soggy earth back into the woods, it was there that the source became obvious. Towering over the diminutive creek sat a newly forged dam, solid as a rock and built of fallen trees and debris. Who could possibly be responsible for this monstrosity? Who would be so malicious, so uncaring, so…

Cute. Damn it. (Forgive the pun!)

Even Isis couldn’t believe it, sniffing around with trepidation.

Clearly, some serious discussion was in order. Reluctant to move his masterpiece, I could understand how much work he put into his dam, but something just had to give. Explaining the situation back at home, he eventually agreed to move further on down the river, but on one condition: That some other family would be kind enough to let him take up residence in their babbling brook or lazy stream. So I implore you, dear readers, to open your doors (or at least yard) to this sweet little critter and take him in. Just make sure he knows where the run-off from his blockades are going!

Head and Body:

Using an F hook and worsted weight yarn in dark brown, sc6 into a loop
Sc twice in each st (12 sts)
Sc1, sc twice into next st* around (18 sts)
Sc2, sc twice into next st* around (24 sts)
Sc3, sc twice into next st* around (30 sts)
Sc4, sc twice into next st* around (36 sts)
Sc even for 4 rounds
Sc4, sc2tog (30 sts)
Sc even for one round
Sc3, 2tog* around (24 sts)
Sc2, 2tog* around (18 sts)
Sc2, sc twice into next st* around (24 sts)
Sc3, sc twice into next st* around (30 sts)
Sc4, sc twice into next st* around (36 sts)
Sc5, sc twice into next st* around (42 sts)
Sc6, sc twice into next st* around (48 sts)
Sc even for 6 rounds
Sc6, sc2tog* around (42 sts)
Sc5, sc2tog* around (36 sts)
Break yarn

Bottom:

With light brown yarn, sc6 into a circle
Sc twice in each st (12 sts)
Sc1, sc twice into next st* around (18 sts)
Sc2, sc twice into next st* around (24 sts)
Sc3, sc twice into next st* around (30 sts)
Sc4, sc twice into next st* around (36 sts)
Break yarn, leaving long tail to sew with

Muzzle:

With light brown yarn, ch6, sc into 2nd ch from hook, sc into remaining sts (5 sts)
Turn, ch1, sc1, sc2 into the next st, sc1, sc2 into the next st, sc1 (7 sts)
Turn, ch1, sc2, sc2 into each of the next 3 sts, sc2 (10 sts)
Continue around and sc into back posts of first row of sts, and sc remaining even (15 sts)
Sc even for one round
Break yarn, leaving long tail to sew with

Ears: (Make 2)

Sc5 in a circle
Sc twice in each (10 sts)
Break yarn, fold in half, sew around edges.

Tail: (Make 2)

Ch 12
Sc 10, sc 3 times in last st, continue around, sc into the back of each st (23)
Turn, ch1. Sc 5, sc 2 into next, sc3, sc 2 into next, sc 3, sc2 into next, sc 3, sc2 into next, sc 5 (27)
Sl st 7, sc2 into one, sc1, sc2 into one, sc1, sc2 into one, sc 3, sc2 into one, sc1, sc 2 into one, sc 1, sc 2 into one, sl st 7 (33)
Sl st 7, sc 2 (sc 2 into one, sc 2) x5, sl st 7 (38)
Break yarn and tie off

Limbs: (Make 4)

Start with light brown yarn and sc 5 in a circle
Sc twice into each st (10 sts)
Switch to dark brown, sc into back loops
Sc even for one round
Break yarn and tie off

Assembly:

Embroider the muzzle with black worsted weight yarn. Cut small rectangles out of white felt for the teeth, and sew them on by hand with invisible (clear) thread. Lightly stuff, and sew the muzzle onto the head. Insert safety eyes and secure tightly. Stuff both the head and body with a gentle but firm touch, and sew the bottom to cover the open hole. Tie off and bury the knot.

Embroider one side of the tail as per the picture above, in a grid-like pattern with a mid-tone brown yarn, and sew the two pieces together. Sew the tail to the bottom of the body. Lightly stuff and attach limbs. Press the ears together and sew them on with a slight curve, so that they appear somewhat rounded. Enjoy your new friend, but keep an eye out for flooding!