In the Lazy Gumdrop Forest there was a mellow viper whose venom was not poisonous. He would slither around with his fangs out there for all the world to see, but unlike all of the other snakes, he wouldn’t attempt to bite people or constrict their breathing like his boa brethren, choosing instead to happily burrow behind a gumdrop tree, and that very tree had proven time and time again to be the antidote for what could have been a lot in life that would have been quite miserable (what, being a snake an all!).
So if a viper can find happiness in the Lazy Gumdrop Forest why then did Dan the Beaver struggle so much lately?
Dan had wandered away from the beaver settlement and with a watchful eye on the path ahead of him set out for a life in the forest that he assumed would be filled with countless adventures. Very steadily he gathered some twigs, branches and logs until Dan had constructed a massive dam that any beaver would be proud of. He stopped and admired his work but then became overwhelmed with fear because he missed the closeness of his family and friends, but then Dan calmly recalled the reason for his departure and desire for adventure in the Lazy Gumdrop Forest. He’d grown weary of the beaver government and its attempts to rule his life. There had been little agreement about fair distribution of food and healthcare, and a heavy cloud hung over all of the beavers to the point of making Dan angry enough to wander off.
This cloudiness was actually good for healthy debate within the beaver colony, but Dan wanted none of it, for he craved delightful times and adventure without all of the problems of society.
So here he found himself in the middle of the Lazy Gumdrop Forest, where vipers and antelope and crocodiles and peacocks noisily enjoyed their lives together without so much care or attention to detail. Nobody set their alarm clocks so no one was ever accused of tardiness, and the more forgetful animals found forgiveness from all the others and there was very little judgment. Dan should have thrived here but as he looked over his fine dam and waved hello to a harmless bear who was sunning himself on a rock, Dan tried hard to figure out why he wasn’t getting any enjoyment from his time in the Lazy Gumdrop Forest.
It was in that very moment that Dan suddenly realized that he had missed his appointment with the orthodontist who was planning to fit him with braces. Dan let out a little chuckle of mock disappointment that he’d failed to show up for teeth-straightening and then executed a effortless belly whomper into the deeper water on the south side of the dam where there were plentiful plants and soft wood for him to munch on.
Dan then suspiciously detected some movement in the wild flowers that were growing next to the shoreline, and before too long he observed several younger beavers who had discovered his dam and were attempting to copy his belly whomper skills. He laughed loudly at their clumsiness as they struggled to find footing on the marshy pavement of the larger logs.
Dan suddenly wasn’t so lonely.
He’d wandered off, far away from the hustle and bustle of busy beaver society. Penniless, he couldn’t really make any purchases, but then again he actually lacked pockets to keep bills and coins so it didn’t really matter. Yes, this was the life for him after all. Peaceful and quiet with just enough interaction with animal neighbors and nonstop entertainment from the kids, Dan enjoyed the suspenseful nature of the butterflies and the merciless way that the honey possums went about sipping nectar from all the flowers and plants.
Dan the Beaver was now very much at home in the Lazy Gumdrop Forest, and for what his life lacked in seriousness he now more than made up for in the contentment he now possessed.