[Note: I am not responsible for the names in this history. It will/has become part of the historical record and, yes, it is a bizarre coincidence.]
So – Happy Canada day everyone! Let’s do a history lesson today. Why is July 1st Canada day?
So, we need to go way back in time. 342 AD. At the time the Dunne-za were locked in a long, mostly peaceful struggle with the dominant species of the northern forest – the giant beaver.
You laugh, but the giant beaver (Castoroides) existed. They were vicious, smart, and intelligent. The average beaver weighed 200 lbs – although they struggled with both anorexia and overeating so their weight varied drastically. The main thing they share in common with the present ancestors the common beaver is lodge building. But a giant beaver lodge is to a common beaver lodge as the little pigs house of straw is to the little pigs house of ricks.
I mean that literally. They built palatial lodges on the lake shore primarily of baked mud. Indoor plumbing and radiant in floor heating were both common. When ruins are found they are thought to be remnants of the Dunne-za villages. Since they were built without foundation and the mud required constant maintenance the mistake is easy to make.
Now the Dunne-za and the Castoroides squabbled over two main points. First was real estate. The giant beaver built their lodges on all the best lake front property and are fiercely territorial. the giant beaver would use their giant tail like a catapult and fling intruding natives back at their band mates like an obscene, bloody game of bowling.
The other issue was the mating ritual. The giant beaver ritual was quite similar to 1950s people. Dinner (often at a ‘swim through’) place and a movie. The problem is the dinner which was Dunne-za lightly poached in water flavored with ginger and peanut extract (flavorings which were very expensive imports).
The Dunne-za fought back, but the giant beaver was just larger, had better weapons, and had mandatory draft with formal military training. That all changes on June 26th, 342 AD.
That is when Edward Cullen stepped from the time portal with a plan to aid the Dunne-za. The meadow chosen was bright and sunlit and the sun sparkled off the time flow resistance gel which coated his bare chest (little clothing survived time travel – they wore supple impossibilium underwear but not much else). He had a large crate of supplies and a plan – developed by the Canadians of the year 2142 and sent back on Canada day!
Edward setup some mechanized Nerf guns to guard the entry (2142 is a mostly peaceful time in Earth’s history and weapons are tightly controlled – even for time saviors like Edward. But the Nerf guns shot very hard and left a nasty bruise.) He then sent up a flare which eventually attracted the nearby curious and brave Dunne-za.
The fateful man who came out to meet Edward was known as Jacob Black (translated from the Dene). He was a young and handsome man who also seemed to wander around without a shirt on a lot – considering how cold what is now called northern Alberta could often be.
The meeting went very well. Edward relayed his plan to Jacob and showed him the contents of the crate. (Note: the people of 1142 were very environmentally conscious – everything was completely bio-degradable which is why none of it was ever excavated by current and recent generation explorers.)
On July 1st, the plan was put into motion. Now- what follows may seem barbaric and the Canadian parliament had debate it for a long time before sending someone back. But their actions were basically constrained by history. It had happened so it needed to happen. (This is why time travel anthropologists have very generous benefits for stress leave days – the paradoxes often overwhelmed them.)
The plan was pretty simple. The Dunne-za snuck onto giant beaver lands and hid giant beaver traps on all their favorite marked walking trails. (With little signs, and benches and ornamental stones – you know the type). The trick was to get them to come out alone and without thought.
Brazenly Jacob and Edward walked right up to the lodge of their first target and called her out. The giant beaver was suspicious because, well, she wasn’t dumb. She took a big stick with a sharp pointy end out with her (and a gun). Jacob and Edward (who was very pale in comparison to Jacob) introduced themselves and said they had a gift for the beaver.
The beaver, whose name was Bella, wondered at the weird naming coincidence. (She was a fan of 21st century teen film. She recorded it on her PVR (Precognitive Video Recorder)). Their brazen stupidity and the name weirdness made her decide to hear them out.
But first she beat them both unconscious with her stick and cooked Edward up in a light butter cream sauce. She then searched them and found a large stash of beverages in the big back they were carrying. She tried one and it was simply the best thing she had ever had! It was a taurine infused energy drink from 1142. And one can had her simply buzzing.
So she got on her favorite social networking site and invited all her friends over and told them to invite all their friends.
Jacob, would had only been feigning unconsciousness for a while, now arose and cut her telco feeds (they had no wireless – it was 342 AD after all. What did you expect?) Bella freaked out and killed him with a single blow of her tail. She rushed out to try to warn her friends, but the rest of the Dunne-za drove her back in with their Nerf guns.
Well, the rest of the giant beaver populace, walked right into the traps. They were slaughtered mercilessly! Their hides were shipped back to 2142 (where beaver hats were back in style, but the common beaver was protected as the national animal of Canada).
Bella herself managed to escape that bloody day. She went around and warned the other giant beaver who were not cool enough to have been on any social network. Thus a small group survived and hid away. They went to what is now north-eastern Alberta dug in and pulled a camouflaging coat of tar sand over their hiding place. They began to plot their revenge.
But their revenge doesn’t happen for another 175 years. So don’t worry. (They wait until after time travel is outlawed again because the paradoxes just drove too many anthropologists, philosophers and scientists bonkers.) That isn’t this story.
Now when a date of such importance brackets the present on both sides, July 1st, 342 the day of the slaughter and July 1st, 2142 when Edward was sent back, it sends ripples of significance roiling through the time stream. So when a date to commemorate Dominion day was chosen – July 1st was the obvious choice.
So enjoy your BBQ and beer. Happy Canada Day! Watch out for vengeful rodents on the way home.