Friday, November 21, 2008

At Long Last, Beavers Can Get a Good Can of Bitter

The fat-tailed bark-chewing overgrown water rats of the world no longer have to settle for what Budweiser and Coors call beer:

For the first time in 400 years, the beaver has returned to Great Britain.

Four wild beaver families arrived at London's Heathrow airport Thursday night, the first step in an effort to reintroduce the mammals -- probably hunted to extinction around the reign of King James I, in the 16th or 17th century -- to the British countryside.

The beaver families, which were trapped in Norway after several months of careful observation, will be quarantined for six months before being released in western Scotland.
The beer is still quite good, but beavers will return to an England much changed in these 400 years. The Stuarts-Tudors rivalry is ancient to the point of quaint; Scotland and England are now united in a single kingdom called, colorfully enough, the United Kingdom; the French aren't so much hated as considered nuisances, like excessive rain or a nagging rash.

On the other paw, dental care is still fair to middling, and the royals are still twits.

I like the thought of beavers in Britain. Maybe someone there will appreciate their fierceness and base a team mascot on them, which will help spread the embarrassment of the Oregon State University Beavers.

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