Baree, Son of Kazan eBook

James Oliver Curwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about Baree, Son of Kazan.

In his throat there came the least bit of a whine.  It was so low that Umisk and his playmates did not hear it.  They were tremendously busy.

Softly Baree took his first step toward them, and then another—­and at last he stood on the narrow strip of shore within half a dozen feet of them.  His sharp little ears were pitched forward, and he was wiggling his tail as fast as he could, and every muscle in his body was trembling in anticipation.

It was then that Umisk saw him, and his fat little body became suddenly as motionless as a stone.

“Hello!” said Baree, wiggling his whole body and talking as plainly as a human tongue could talk.  “Do you care if I play with you?”

Umisk made no response.  His three playmates now had their eyes on Baree.  They didn’t make a move.  They looked stunned.  Four pairs of staring, wondering eyes were fixed on the stranger.

Baree made another effort.  He groveled on his forelegs, while his tail and hind legs continued to wiggle, and with a sniff he grabbed a bit of stick between his teeth.

“Come on—­let me in,” he urged.  “I know how to play!”

He tossed the stick in the air as if to prove what he was saying, and gave a little yap.

Umisk and his brothers were like dummies.

And then, of a sudden, someone saw Baree.  It was a big beaver swimming down the pond with a sapling timber for the new dam that was under way.  Instantly he loosed his hold and faced the shore.  And then, like the report of a rifle, there came the crack of his big flat tail on the water—­the beaver’s signal of danger that on a quiet night can be heard half a mile away.

Danger,” it warned.  “Danger—­danger—­ danger!”

Scarcely had the signal gone forth when tails were cracking in all directions—­in the pond, in the hidden canals, in the thick willows and alders.  To Umisk and his companions they said: 

Run for your lives!”

Baree stood rigid and motionless now.  In amazement he watched the four little beavers plunge into the pond and disappear.  He heard the sounds of other and heavier bodies striking the water.  And then there followed a strange and disquieting silence.  Softly Baree whined, and his whine was almost a sobbing cry.  Why had Umisk and his little mates run away from him?  What had he done that they didn’t want to make friends with him?  A great loneliness swept over him—­a loneliness greater even than that of his first night away from his mother.  The last of the sun faded out of the sky as he stood there.  Darker shadows crept over the pond.  He looked into the forest, where night was gathering—­and with another whining cry he slunk back into it.  He had not found friendship.  He had not found comradeship.  And his heart was very sad.


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Baree, Son of Kazan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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