All at once one of them stands upright, sniffing the air, listening, a stiff brown pillar of attention; a foreign scent has drifted down from that dark unknown forest with its threat of a thousand dangers. Without warning the beaver leaps into the water with a terrific plunge, slaps his tail. Immediately there is a violent commotion, cries, splashes, heavy thudding of broad flat tails, and in a moment not a beaver is to be seen.

Grey Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild, Peter Davies, London, 1935, p. 6.

TIME: ca. 1930

PLACE: Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan

CIRCUMSTANCE: beaver warning signals



Anahereo took axe and snowshoes and went out into the starry Christmas night.

She was gone a little longer than I expected, and on looking out, I saw her standing in rapt attention, listening. I asked what she heard.

"Listen." She spoke softly. "Hear the Christmas bells," and pointed upwards.

I listened. A light breeze had sprung up and was flowing, humming in the pine tops far above; whispering at first, then swelling louder in low undulating waves of sound, and sinking to a murmur; ascending to a deep strong wavering note, fading again, to a whisper. The Carillons of the Pine Trees; our Christmas Bell.

Grey Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild, Peter Davies, London, 1935, p. 144.

TIME: late 1920's

PLACE: a cabin in the bush beside Birch Lake near Cabano, Quebec




Once, in answer to a call, a long clear note came back to us, followed by another in a different key. And the two voices blended and intermingled like a part-song in the stillness of the little lonesome pond, and echoed back and forth in the surrouding hills and faded to a whisper, and died.

And that long wailing cry from out of the darkness was the last sound we ever heard them make.

Grev Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild, Peter Davies, London, 1935, p. 159.

TIME: spring, late 1920's

PLACE: Birch Lake, Quebec

CIRCUMSTANCE: two beavers (McGinnis and McGinty) leave Grey Owl and Anahereo's camp for the last time. They respond to a call from Grey Owl.