Far away from here, there is a small, pretty village. Several small houses with colorful roofs stand there, a few trees grow there, and many flowers too. A small river runs past this village. It looks like any other river, but very few know that this river is a home to the river sprites. Their tiny houses are hiding all along the river. They are these small chambers and tunnels dug under the banks.
River sprites live close to the river because they need it. Every morning and evening, they sit on the very edge of the bank and dip their little feet in the water. It gives them the necessary moisture and energy to stay healthy and strong. But one day, something happened that they didn’t expect.
It was a calm morning. The sprites were still sleeping when suddenly their houses began to shake as if there was a strong earthquake. The sprites jumped from their beds, not sure what was going on. After a while, they heard a loud rumble as well. Something was getting closer, but they didn’t know what. And then it arrived. A huge wave of water surged into their homes. It washed away everything in its path. Little beds, little tables; it even took away their stores of food and the sprites themselves.
They’ve never known such high water. They held on to one another, bouncing along on the waves as they carried them far away. As they went, they could just watch with sadness as their chambers filled up with water and nothing looked the same as before. After some time, they managed to get back to the river’s bank. They were all fine. Nobody was hurt in any way. The most important thing was that they were still together. But what now?
One of the sprites didn’t want to give up, so he said: “Don’t worry, we’ll get through this. First, we must find out what happened, and then we need to build new homes so that we have a place to live. Come, we’ll figure this out together.” They set off to where the river began, in order to find out why the big wave had come.
As they neared their destination, they could hear a lot of noise. Banging, cutting, and stomping. There were beavers at the start of the river, and they were very busy. They were trying to build a dam in order to calm the river. The sprites walked up to them and asked them what happened. The beavers explained that a lot of water had come down from the mountains and because there wasn’t a dam here, a flood formed which took away everything as it went. Now they were trying to stop it, so that the river could go back to being calm and small.
The sprites didn’t hesitate for a moment and joined the work. They worked hard all day, helping the beavers. When evening approached, the dam was built. The water wasn’t as wild and dangerous as before. But although the work was done, the sprites were tired and had nowhere to sleep.
“You know what? Since you’ve helped us so much, you can sleep in our home. And tomorrow, we will help you build your homes close to the river,” the beavers said. The sprites were happy to have new friends and a place to sleep. They were also looking forward to having their own homes again tomorrow. Quickly, they dipped their feet in the river to have enough moisture, and then they fell into a contented asleep. The next day, the beavers truly helped them build new chambers and tunnels along the river.
Since then, no such wave has ever come again. That’s because the beavers and the sprites make sure that the dam stays firm. And because they’ve helped one another so nicely, the dam isn’t the only thing that holds fast – so does the friendship between the beavers and the sprites.