By coincidence, I was in the basement reorganizing jars of last year’s canned goods to make room for the current crop when I heard a “scritch-scratch” noise coming from the window well. It was very difficult to see what was making such a commotion through 100-year-old window panes so stained you cannot see through the glass. I could observe movement and a shadow running back and forth, but could not see what creature might be in such a frenzy.
I assumed we might have an eager pack rat trying to dig his way into the basement. We have had these pesky visitors before. They make a terrific mess and their downright thievery of a variety of small objects which they tuck into their nests is a nuisance. Dad had a solution and would go for his pistol. Sometimes it took several loud, booming shots before he would emerge victorious with a dead packrat. There are still bullet holes in the basement walls.
I went outside to get a closer look and there was a fat, furry little brown creature with a long tail scuttling around frantically trying to climb out of the window well. It was too big to be a packrat, and I didn’t want to deal with it. I called for help.
Michael brought the live trap and after some maneuvering, was able to capture what was clearly a muskrat. But muskrats are water creatures. What was it doing so far from the pond, half a mile away?
There was only one solution. Take it to the pond and hope that is where it lives. If not, it will perhaps find a new home more appropriate than a concrete window well.
The muskrat took off down the bank of the pond as fast as its little feet would carry it. It seemed pretty familiar with the terrain and didn’t hesitate to jump in the water. It swam right to the den on the bank of the pond and disappeared from our view.
Little Musky is home at last, and we hope he or she decides to stay put. We can only wonder what led it to our window well. Lover’s quarrel? Doing lunch? Checking out the real estate? Only Musky knows.