The beaver house stood in the middle of the pond. No one was around. The snow lay in drifts on the bank of the pond as ice totally covered the water, except for a large slit which wasn’t there yesterday.
Inside his house, the beaver was restless. By all accounts he should have been resting, but the pangs of hunger, which were causing his stomach to contract sharply, made him think of something to gnaw on.
Waddling to the entrance to his house, he splashed into the cold water and gracefully pushed his body forward, propelling himself out into the pond.
To his hungry senses, the wood which lay suspended in the water near the strange opening in the ice was a complete surprise. This time there would be no need for foraging: food was waiting for him like a heaven-sent gift, ready to eat.
As he approached the object of his desire, he noticed the double cords of the net which were keeping the wood suspended. He felt the presence of humans, but ignored the sensation, as hunger washed over him again.
The beaver climbed into the net to retrieve his catch and found himself caught in its hold. Struggle as he may, he could not break free, and seeing the hole in the ice, he climbed the net’s cords up to the air.
Poking his head through the slit, he breathed the sharp, cold air with relief. At last he was free of the trap. Climbing out onto the crisp ice, he heard the light step of a human. Before he could turn and dive into the hole, something heavy smashed onto his head and he lost consciousness.