Sunday, July 10, 2016

That Is No Muskrat

For years I've had a joke going with one of my friends.  I grew up in "The Beaver State," but I'd never seen a real live beaver before.  I joked that all those beavers people see are actually muskrats... or puppets (I see lots of muskrats).  Even the documentaries- fake.  "Beavers don't exist!" would be my thought.  My friend would respond with, "I believe in beavers!"  Fun silly little thing we had going on.  It would also be fun when I clumped beavers with other mythological creatures like unicorns or dragons.  Well, not always dragons.  Dragons exist.  I've seen komodo dragons in zoos.  I haven't seen beavers.  Because they don't exist.
Last week, Jeremy and I went out to a wildlife refuge early in the morning to go birding.  We were in one spot looking out over a pond at some birds- Virginia rail, song sparrow, lots of swallows, some ducks and ducklings.  I turned to look in a different direction and saw these two giant creatures moving around- hugging.  "Jeremy, mammals!" I quietly called.  Jeremy got some pictures with the camera while I was looking through the binoculars and asking, "What are those?"  Jeremy responded, "Those, Kristin, are those mythological creatures you've never seen before."  The best way to respond would have been to say, "Oh, unicorns," but I was too amazed to do that.

For a while I just called them giant muskrats.  I wanted them to show me their tails.  You know- their flat, non-muskrat tails.  After they swam on and we moved on to a different spot, we saw another one and I took a bunch of pictures of it.
It was huge.  I watched it preening/cleaning itself.  I watched it walk over and move a small log out of its way.  I watched it swim and dive with its flat tail.
"That is no muskrat," I said.

Later on we saw another one gnawing on some wood and others swimming in the water.
Wow.  It was kind of a big deal for me.  Even though it's been all a big joke about me not believing in beavers and them not existing, it was pretty amazing to actually see them in real life- and a bunch of them, too.  They're huge.  And this was huge.
I'm so glad I finally got too see a real live beaver- real live beavers.  Such a neat experience.
"They do exist!"

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited you got to see a beaver! :D They, like the narwhal, are actually real.