The Selfish Beaver

A billion years ago, when life in Earth consisted only of particles, the Gods decided it was time to create another form of life. For that reason, they created a beautiful valley with a river that nourished life to all the different species that lived around it. These animals were astonished by the beauty of the world, the green grass, the blue sky, and the crystal clear water. They rejoiced living with each other and lived peacefully. Each animal had a specific job to perform at the valley, the birds were in charge of keeping an eye on everyone from the sky, squirrels gathered nuts for everyone to eat, and the beavers were given the most important task of all: taking care of the water that flowed through the river.

They worked gracefully as team, fueled by joy and passion, they did it all from dusk till dawn, chopping down logs, collecting twitches, and tearing down branches to build huge dams that provided water for all the other species. Nevertheless, they had to this this with some precautions, to many dams would prevent the flow of fish, which would lead to a lack of food, too many dams could cause the land to dry up, or a dam that didn’t allowed some water to flow could lead to an eventual flood.

One day, a beaver grew selfish thoughts and acted upon them, deciding to create a small dam to keep some of the water to himself. He started collecting small twigs and branches in order to accomplish his desire. Every day, he woke up before everyone else did, in order to work on his personal project and every night, he went to sleep a little bit later. After he was done building his very own dam, another beaver noticed what this very selfish beaver had done and so began doing the same thing. After this other beaver had finished his own dam, other beavers started to notice and wanted to keep water and space to themselves as well. This went on and on, suddenly every beaver started to acting selfishly and build their own dams, without considering every other animal in the valley, and ignoring the task that was assigned upon them, that was to take care of the river; until one day, the river barely had any more water.


The beavers’ selfish actions had ended with the flow of water, causing thirst to the animals that depended of it and starvation to others, fish were trapped and had nowhere to go,  the grass became grey and utterly dry, causing hunger to the animals that ate it and inhospitable to the ones who lived on it. This made the Gods furious, but instead of punishing the beavers, they decided to help them realize the consequences of their selfish actions and how it had impacted on every other animal’s life. This realization made the beavers really sad, but most importantly, they understood that their selfish actions not only meant punishments on them by the gods, but it also affected the lives of others. From that day on, they pledged to never steal water again and to work as a team forevermore.

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