Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Adventures in Indie Rock: Issue 2

The Frenchman and the Beaver: Part 2 of 2

It had been 3 days since Tim, Syd and Jean departed camp but there was still no sign of the mysterious castor other than a few gnawed trees that bore the mark 'LTP'. Tim was pretty sure they were being trailed by gophers, how many he didn't know. The nights had grown colder and Syd had found himself jealous that Tim and Jean got to share furs and each others body heat while he shivered on the ground, with only damp leaves and the thought of a killer bassline to keep him warm. It was midmorning and the trio walked along the bank of the stream, which grew faster and wider as they headed north. Jean had run towards the water, knelt in shallows and reading the signs sensed the direction they must proceed. He pointed to the northwest. Syd walked at the front as they went on.

"How close do you think we are Jean my love?" Tim asked

"I would say zat we are very close know. But jou never know," the French trapper answered.

Syd turned around. "I've been meaning to ask you something Jean. I've been told that French people have no trouble pronouncing the 'y' sound in words such as 'you' or 'yours'. But you keep saying 'jou' and 'jes'. What gives?"

Jean looked confused. "'ave i been talking like zat?"

Tim and Syd nodded. "Hold on," Jean said turning towards the stream. He bent over and started coughing. Suddenly he stopped and spit something into the river. "phlegm, " he said. "You see zats all it was."

"That's a totally probable reason," Syd said.

"I agree," Tim said.

They continued down the stream.

It was early afternoon when Jean held up his hand as a sign they should stop. The pace and width of the river had suddenly changed. Slowly he pulled out his musket.

"We 'are close," he said looking back at the travelers. He sniffed the air. "I smell wood chips and tooth enamel". He motioned them forward. They went around a bend in the stream and stopped in their tracks. Ahead was a giant wooden dam. But this was no simple Castor Damn. It was a magnificent piece of architecture. A large wooden wall stopped the stream. Above was a lodging of some sort and a turret.

"This doesn't look like something a beav-i mean castor could build," Tim said gazing at it.

"Oh he built it," Jean said loading gunpowder in his musket. "They say he is as smart as a man."

"So he's as smart as a man and as big as a bear?" Syd had a foreboding look on his face. "Maybe we shouldn't mess with him. I think I definitely read somewhere not to mess with bearbeavermen."

"Where did you read that?" Tim asked sensing that Syd was scared.

"Um, I think Fader had an article on it."

Tim just shook his head.

"Let's go," Jean said and they approached the dam. As they got closer they saw that the outer wall was covered in wood carvings, each depicting a scene with the Castor. There was one with the large animal fighting a walrus, another in which he struggled with a gigantic salmon, and yet another that look curiously like a cheesecake pose.

They were within 10 feet of the damn when a bellow echoed from above. On the wall a thousand gophers had massed and cried out at once. They stood ready, some holding twigs as if they were weapons. A few had appeared to have built crude nun-chuks from branches and stripped bark. They lined the wall but parted when He appeared. It was the biggest beaver Tim or Syd had ever seen. At least 12 feet tall it stood on its hind legs. Its fur was long and brown and its two front teeth protruded from the top of its mouth. It was the most frightening, yet adorable, thing any of them had ever seen.

"I am Laren the Patchy," It called down to them.

Syd's eyes widened to huge saucers. Tim peed his pants a little.

"Did that giant beaver just talk?" Syd finally put forth. Neither Tim nor Jean answered.

Laren the Patchy leapt of the top of the dam and landed in the water with a great splash.

"Why have you come to this place?" Laren asked, his huge form rising before them.

Jean stepped forward. "I 'ave come to take you as my prize. Surrender to me and I promise your death will be quick"

Laren laughed as did the gopher army above.

"So be it," Jean said and rushed forward in the water, musket at hand. But Laren was too quick. Before Jean knew what had happened the Castor had picked him up in his huge, but cute, paw and flung him against the wall of the dam. Jean collided with a thud and fell into the water. Laren moved in for the kill. But Tim flung himself in front of the giant.

"You will not touch him!" Tim yelled.

Laren stopped and looked upon the bearded man in tight pants. "You are brave," the Castor started, "and your beard gives you much strength. But none who come to this place can leave. You are no match for me."

"That's what you think," Tim said. He looked Laren straight in the eyes. And suddenly he charged. Flinging himself at the Castors leg he started to climb as if Laren was the scaffolding of a small rock venue. All the years of playing shows had led to this moment. He climbed and spazzed and sang. The fury of this assault was like nothing Laren had ever seen. Tim reached his head and pounded on it with his fists.

"Ow," Laren cried. "That fucking hurts!"

But Tim had no mercy. His shirt had come off and he danced a dance of mayhem on top of the beaver, pounding him with his anger.

"Seriously," Laren shouted. "that's hurts!"

But Tim just continued. The gophers were in a frenzy, some jumping into the water, others throwing sticks at Tim. But it had no effect. Laren could take no more. He collapsed in the waters and covered his head, cowering. The gophers were stunned into silence. Tim jumped off and sloshed his way to the dam. Syd was already there, holding Jean above the water.

"Is he ok?" Tim asked.

"I am fine," Jean answered opening his eyes. " I knew he was no match for zee power of your beard."

He knelt down before Tim. Syd did the same.

"Zee beard is wise. I am its loyal servant." Jean said looking at Tim.

"As am I". Laren had stood behind them, bowing his head.

The hair on Tim's face perked up, as if it knew it was being praised. "Rise my brothers," Tim said. "Lets us adjourn to the dam and enjoy a feast of berries and fresh deer meat."

And so they did. And for the rest of their days they lived in the dam, the three men, the giant beaver and a thousand angry gophers.