Esoteric London

No. 462: Bethnal Green Road, E2

Posted in Graffiti, Wildlife by esotericlondon on December 6, 2011

Bethnal Green Road, London, E2. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

All the Year Round – Charles Dickens, c. 1861: 

THE REGENT’S PARK BEAVER. This beaver seems perpetually happy. He has constructed his own abode with materials thrown over into his enclosure, and goes on thus reconstructing and altering it forever. The superintendent communicates it to first gentlemen, who retails it to second, and so on, that this beaver is so fond of his house, that though he managed on one occasion to get out of his enclosure and down to the banks  of the neighbouring canal in the dead of the night, he was yet found next morning back in his legitimate domain, and working away at his “improvements” as hard as ever. He is a lively chap at night, and was not the least disconcerted by the presence of the party gathered round him; but was, on the contrary, so tremendously busy in doing nothing, and then undoing it again, still keeping his eye upon the four gentlemen who had come to see him, that third gentleman was heard at last to remark to fourth gentleman that he “looked upon this animal as an impostor and believed he was doing it all for effect.”

[ The above photograph is of a piece of street art by the Belgian artist Roa. There seems to be some debate as to whether it depicts a rat or a beaver but I have come down in the beaver camp so to speak. For more of Roa’s work see posts 174 and 230. R.D.]

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