Abbie Doll

A Persevering Tale

Maple was a big-tailed beaver with even bigger dreams. She resided on the American side of Niagara Falls but was a Canadian at heart. Like I said, her tail was big—twice the length of her torso. The thing was so unusually long that she could wrap it beneath her hind feet and ride it like a surfboard, no waxing required. All the other beavers thought Maple was a total loon, but she was too consumed with surfing after her dreams to let her reputation be a bother. One day it occurred to her, If I can chew through trees, why stop there? I could dam up the Falls!

At the base, she envisioned a palatial place—the most luxurious log cabin the world had ever seen. This little mud-ridden rodent aspired for royalty. She’d have the best real estate and the best scenery on both borders! Because beavers have a reputation for being cunning engineers, Maple never let a trace of doubt taint her lofty pursuit. She set her chompers to work, gnawing through trunks left and right, dumping the cut timber down the current where gravity could help. 

Maple quickly became a must-see; all the phone-wielding tourists started snapping shots of her surfing across the Niagara—her wiry fur plastered back in a permanent windswept state. Videos of this plump little rodent riding her tongue-depressor tail spread lickety-split, making Maple the surfing beaver an overnight viral sensation. With each new wave of visitors, the Falls continued to rush and roar, but now they were more decoration than attraction—a backdrop for the show’s newest star. Maple, oblivious to fame, kept working, making slow-but-certain progress; gaps did eventually form in the surrounding canopy, but a great-horned owl swooped in and brought her efforts to a swift halt. Maple never finished her cabin, but she sure did an excellent job boosting tourism here. Niagara scooped her up as its official mascot—almost faster than the owl—and if you squint hard enough, you might still see her surfing along, hard at work. I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today. Any questions before we conclude the tour?

Abbie Doll is an eclectic mess of a person who loves exploring the beautiful intricacies of the written word. She resides in Columbus, OH and received her MFA from Lindenwood University; her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Door Is a Jar Magazine, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L), Black Fox Literary Magazine, among others. Follow her @AbbieDollWrites.

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