In a broad, rippling area of the mighty Wiggle River, lived a small community of water
creatures who seemed to be the happiest group around. Among these jubilant water-dwellers were the Otters. The Otters were carefree and joyful and always made everyone laugh.
The Beavers were by far the strongest of the group and built sturdy bridges, dams, and homes that made the Otters feel a little jealous, especially when it rained. While everyone else searched for shelter wherever they could find it, the Beaversstayed warm and dry.
One day after a long and scary storm, when everyone was drying in the afternoon sun, Delbert Otter had an idea. “I know!” he said,“Next time it rains, we’ll all just go to any Beaver’s house, I’m sure they won’t mind.”
A cheer rang out across the group of Otters, but others seemed unsure. The Catfish shrugged and swam away, as did all the minnows. The water rats sat on the bank and frowned. A painted turtle spoke up, “You should ask the beavers about this.”
“Nah,” scoffed Delbert Otter. “We’ll just make it a rule,and then they’ll have to share with us!” Delbert was pleased with his idea and did a little dance.
“Wait just a minute!” boomed a voice from under the ferns. The leader of the beavers had heard everything and didn’t like it one bit. “You will impose no rules that you don’t follow yourselves. You have nothing to offer in return, and besides, you have survived on your own for a hundred years!” The beaver turned in a huff and glided swiftly away.
“That’s a smart beaver.” the painted turtle remarked before quickly ducking underwater when Delbert Otter splashed him.
“It’s true, you know.” said the smallest water rat. “We’re all okay; the Beavers allow us to use their bridges, and the Otters make us laugh. Why not just leave things the way they are?”
Frogs began to croak in agreement, and soon everyone else except Delbert Otter joined in. Delbert sat quiet and frowned.
“You can stay mad all day,” said another otter, “but we have a show to do!” All the Otters left Delbert alone and swam to the middle of the river to begin their next performance.
“Wait!” cried Delbert. “Wait for me!” He caught up with the other otters as everyone cheered.