Russia has the strong and ferocious bear. The US of A has the mighty Bald Eagle. Canada has the buck toothed Beaver for its national animal. And yes, I know that Canada was built off the pelts of castor canadensis, but really – a Beaver?
And on the subject of beavers, I often wondered how the Dickens the poor critter came to be associated with a woman’s private parts. Well, not often, but sometimes. My mind is occasionally entertained by other things, such as Football, for example. Or food – mmm, luscious, moist muffin. Figs in syrup. Mussels to be eased out of their shell. Perky little button mushrooms.
Oh my! Better get back to the women’s privates before I disgrace myself. Where were we? Oh yes – How did the Beaver get his name associated with a woman’s unmentionables (this attempts to be a family blog – I didn’t declare AC for the Challenge and I don’t want to be expelled on B).
I didn’t encountered much beaver growing up. The only time I ever saw a beaver would be in a well-worn volume, secretly thumbed in the recesses of the library. I wonder how much more enriched my life would have been had I discovered beaver much earlier? But this absence of beaver is something I and my countrymen must endure. My forefathers exhausted our native beavers years ago. And so, without any native beavers of our own, we rely on our Colonial cousins for this particular etymology. So why beaver? It can’t be metaphorical. Did you ever see a curly coated beaver, or one with blond head and brown body? There’s the too obvious reference to eating wood, of course. But surely, even the Colonists must have been more creative than that?
Well, as with so many things, truth is indeed stranger than fiction. I can now enhance your dinner party repertoire with the true tale of the beaver as ‘window dressing’. The frontiersmen and lumberjacks of the North were hardy souls, all alone in the wilds. But with no women folk at hand, what’s a man to do for his baser needs. Enter, the house of ill-repute.
Visitors to these ladies of the night believed their itching down below was contracted through contact with the prostitute’s furry bits. Keen to serve, the women took the cut-throat to the garden and gave the bush a hard pruning. However, the Brazilian was not à la mode, and the fussy clientele did not like to see the goods so nakedly displayed. Exasperated, bald, and faced with visibly flagging interest, the ladies took a firm grip on the problem. The solution, satisfactory to everyone but the beaver, was for the call-girls to cloak their nether nakedness in a soft, supple wig made from the hide of beaver. The wig was called a merkin.
Ever resourceful, and not wanting to waste anything, the ladies also made use of the beaver tail. They were frustrated at the effort they expended to satisfy their clients’ fastidiousness, and wanted to right a wrong. Extending nature’s natural design, they had the beaver tail fashioned into a paddle. They then took out their anger by applying tail to tail of their guests with much vigour. Nature’s warning signal thus also warned the clientele to leave well alone when it came to questioning a woman’s personal hygiene.
So there you have it. The real reason the Beaver is the symbol of Canada. And stop snickering at the back.
Posted as part of the 2014 Blogging from A to Z Challenge