CBC Digital Archives

Beaver attack!

media clip
Penn Powell has lived all his life in the woods, and has been attacked by "pretty near every animal in the bush" ... but when Canada's national symbol rounds on him on a dark and stormy night, the result is both hilarious and painful. In this much-requested clip, Powell gives CBC Radio's Markus Schwabe a colourful rendition of his encounter - including the fearful moment the ferocious rodent went "after my honeymoon jewels!"
• This clip is one of the most frequently requested items in the CBC Radio archives. It originally aired on the CBC Radio morning show in Prince George, B.C. some time in the mid-1990s. The version presented here is from a rebroadcast of the clip on the CBC Radio One program Richardson's Roundup, which often featured listener requests.

• This clip has been frequently used in CBC training materials as an example of great storytelling, and knowing when a host should simply shut up and let the guest do the talking.

• Beavers are rodents that are the only member of the family Castoridae. The North American beaver (Castor canadensis) is the largest rodent in North America. Its sharp, orange teeth never stop growing, grinding together to maintain very sharp tips.

• On March 24, 1975, royal assent was given to an act that officially recognized the beaver "as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada."

•  According to a Toronto Star article, American author Tom Wolfe once said this of Canada's national animal: "Canada is one of the few countries that does not have some rapacious animal as its national animal. It has a constructive animal, the beaver, which will not even bite your finger unless backed into a corner. Practically every other national flag has its origins in battle, while the Canadian flag is the maple leaf. It almost symbolizes a pastoral idyll."

Medium: Radio
Program: Richardson's Roundup
Broadcast Date: Dec. 5, 1997
Guest(s): Penn Powell
Host: Bill Richardson
Interviewer: Markus Schwabe
Duration: 6:33
Photo: Image from sherseydc on Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Last updated: June 26, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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