assorted small mammals

August 22, 2009

I’d hoped to be posting squirrel pictures. But the dream has been deferred.

Someone died, and I couldn’t get into the funeral home.

And I feel bad about being disappointed. Because what can I say? Someone’s grandma probably died. Do I dare be bummed for not getting to the albino squirrels?

But they were playing basketball…

Of course, they will be just as dead next week. Perhaps I will make it in when we take #1 to move into his dorm. And isn’t this the best way to introduce ourselves to #1’s roommate and his family?

Hey, kid.
Wanna go see some dead squirrels?

He’ll be sleeping with the light on for the rest of the semester.

However, I am chock full of other Wisconsin mammal stories. In Madison, on the Beltline Highway, there is a billboard for the Vilas Park Zoo’s otter exhibit.

Ambassadors of American Rivers!

But just a couple of days ago, I read this AP article:

“Posted: Aug. 11, 2009

Drummond — An Austrian woman on vacation in Wisconsin is getting rabies shots after she says she was bitten several times by at least two otters.

Fifty-one-year-old Brigitte France told the Duluth News Tribune that she was swimming on Lake Owen near Drummond last Wednesday when she heard something hissing behind her.

She spotted an otter. It dove and swam away, but soon another one popped up about eight feet away. She felt uncomfortable and swam to shore.

She said she had her hands on the shore and legs in the water when two otters bit her legs eight or nine times. She said it didn’t hurt much.

She walked back to the cabin where she was staying with her husband, a former Duluth resident. From there, she went to a local hospital where doctors started the rabies shots.”

Apparently, this is how our furry little ambassadors treat foreigners. And now that I think of it, the otters on that billboard have a kind of beedy eyed “Bring it. I dare you,” look to them.

Of course, rabid biting is mild compared to what I read about a beaver, a couple of years ago. A woman was killed while canoeing, when one of nature’s engineer chewed down a tree on the bank, and it fell into the river, just as she paddled by. She was struck. That was that.

I have never actually heard of an otter killing anyone, citizen or tourist. Even though they probably have diplomatic immunity.

Does that work, when you are in your own country? I don’t know.

And I think the beaver may have been a Minnesotan. There is no telling what they get up to on the other side of the Mississippi. But if you cross the bridge, watch your back.

Just sayin.