By Aaron Suranofsky
A pond-wet nose sifts air, spinning the brown strip of fur like a dancer's wrist draws a ribbon into delicate loops, crisscrossing dogwood bristles a few feet from where I petrify myself into a tree. Dull black eyes curl my reflection: another tall brown blur for the rodent who sacrificed clear sight for fancy third eyelid goggles. It sniffs out the perfect snack-strip of branch, pinched level with rubber fingers, it slides the wood through its ivory lathe, roughing off chips of bark, sharpening raw tan into tasty puffs of dust. For five minutes its jaw drums the pond, quaking the sound of flinting stone into even spaced O’s of force. Like the beaver’s a star, the tiny splash-flicks of frogs have chosen to revolve, their peeps meeting the rhythm of water wobbling over their green noses. I lean to the music, a twig snaps alarm– its eyes catch me, like a sequin glimmer on a cloudy day, and it sledges its tail paddle to the water, thwacking a crater, and in the spray of cover it twirls, swallowed lithe without a tremble in the pond clean of any sign it was there.