Only three months left of this 52 WEEKS project and I have begun asking my family for assistance with animals that are common in Canada. My husband suggested muskrat this week as they used to be prevalent visitors to our yard when we lived on the banks of the wetlands of Nose Creek. I miss those days.
The funny thing about muskrats is that they look like most rodents but instead of being creepy are very cute. They have been called rats because they are omnivores but aren't actually rats. The name comes from their musky odor which they use to mark their territory. They were originally called musk-beaver because of their flattened tails and then muskrats because of that similarity to rats.
They can grow to 28 inches in length and their fur, which grows in a double layer to keep them warm in cold water, begins as brown or black but can actually turn grey as they age. Their back feet are slightly webbed and they can close their ears when they dive under water, where they can last for as long as 17 minutes.
As a totem animal, muskrat is a good sign, symbolizing silent observation. They remind us to trust ourselves and keep our own counsel. Grace, resilience and adaptability. Everything has a potential for positive outcome, no matter how bleak the situation may seem.