In the wild kingdom there are many amazing, beautiful or powerful creatures. The muskrat is none of these.
But I still feel something for this love-challenged underdog – perhaps it’s my Canadian roots. Unfortunately extolling the muskrat’s virtues is a public relations nightmare.
Here’s a creature that is often described as ugly, appears a bit slimy (hopefully that’s just from being wet) and wanders around aimlessly, seemingly never accomplishing anything.
The inevitable comparisons to the beaver only make things worse – smaller, can’t cut down trees and I haven’t even mentioned that ugly, sloppy tail. In case you missed it, I previously outlined the beaver’s own beauty challenges.
Perhaps winning over a few friends for this lowly creature is not realistic. It’s likely my desperate search for any living creature to photograph that overtakes all rational judgment.
Yet on a Saskatchewan evening, I can sit by any nearby body of water and wait. Inevitably the water stirs, a small head appears and soon a perfect V forms on still water. Suddenly I am not alone.
A muskrat faithfully carries out its duties, wanders close enough for me to take a photo then silently slides away. I smile and enjoy the company. And on days with good light, I can find the beauty, can you?