Beaver, Oh Beaver

                                by David P. Stern

    Beaver, oh beaver
    Slinking after dark
    Chomping down those cherry trees
    In West Potomac Park
    Beaver, oh beaver
    You do not stand a chance
    Not when those rangers hunt you down
    For messing up their plants.

    Beaver, oh beaver
    You made one huge mistake
    Your life was so much sweeter
    In scenic Greenbelt Lake
    It's true, you chopped some sweetgums down
    And made a royal mess
    Still, you were proof that our town
    Had real wilderness.

    But no! You yearned for city lights
    Publicity and fame
    The nation's cherished cherry trees
    Seemed a much bigger game
    And so to Washington you went
    Resolved to make your mark
    By Jefferson's big monument
    To chew on cherry bark.

    And then the press went after you
    With cameras and lights
    While park police with K-9 dogs
    Disrupted your quiet nights
    Now that they nabbed you, fair and square
    You will be relocated--
    Just stay away from Greenbelt, where
    You aren't appreciated!


(In the mid-1990s a beaver discovered Greenbelt Lake, built a lodge on the southern shore and chopped down a fair number of trees--mainly sweetgums, which the city protected with chicken wire. It then disappeared. In the spring of 1999 a family of beavers was discovered engaged in similar activity about 10 miles further south, in the tidal basin in downtown Washington, near the Jefferson Memorial. Those beavers received a great deal of publicity in the press, until the park rangers trapped all three of them and moved them far from the city.)

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Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   david("at" symbol) .

Last updated 18 January 2002