Mickey the Beaver

An eleven-year-old girl recounts how she raised a beaver from a kit.

Written by Kaitlin Vitt

January 10, 2019

Mickey the Beaver came into the life of Doris Forbes and her parents in 1939. High school student Jean Yuill found the kit on a sidewalk in Red Deer, Alberta, and happened to bring him to the nearby Forbes home.

The family nursed the injured kit back to health, raising him from when he was only twenty-five centimetres long until he was more than a metre in length.

Mickey would come when called by name and would go for swims in the nearby creek, always following the family home. He’d even make dams out of slippers in their home — after the family trained him to stop gnawing at the furniture.

When Doris Forbes was sick, Mickey would go to her bedroom every day to visit — the beaver even caught whooping cough from the young girl. The two were inseparable; Mickey was Doris’s best friend.

“He’s the best pet I ever had, and I love him with all my heart,” she said.

When “The Tale of Mickey the Beaver” (The Beaver, December 1941) was published, the Forbes had been raising Mickey for more than two years. This is just one of the stories you’ll find in our online archive of The Beaver, Canada’s History, and Kayak magazines. Using the new online search function, search “Mickey the Beaver” to see even more photos of Doris and her furry friend.

The Canada’s History Archive featuring The Beaver was made possible with the generous support of the Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation. Visit CanadasHistory.ca/Archive to read ninety-plus years of stories.

This article originally appeared in the December 1941 issue of The Beaver.

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