So after school I’m trying to get the kids snack and Josh comes running up from his room screaming, “There’s a giant rat in my room!” He’s not one to pull practical jokes but we don’t live in New York nor have I ever seen a rat where we live. I follow him down to his room and he is going on, “It’s in my window and it has a really long tail.” I’m thinking it must be a mouse and he’s exaggerating. I go into his room and look at the window and there is nothing there. Then I go open the blinds and see this:
This was a bit of a surprise considering I was expecting to see a field mouse. Turns out to be a muskrat. We live by a pond so there are all kinds of creatures out and about but never been this up-close-and-personal with one of them.
So I went and got the other kids so they could come see the muskrat. He wrecked or screen and was crawling around between the screen and window. The bedroom has an egress window and he wasn’t big enough to crawl out.
“We have to save him!” Callie announced.
Just then the “Wonder Pets” theme song popped into my head…”Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets we’re on our way, to save a baby muskrat and save the day.”
So we found the wonder pets (Linny, Tuck and Ming Ming too.) and I grabbed a board and a towel to rig up something to save our woodland friend.
I was pretty sure as soon as I put the board down the muskrat would run up it and attack me (I’m a little skittish around “wild” animals) but I knew the kids were watching so I had to be brave. I slid the board down into the window well and then backed up to take a few photos.
He didn’t move. I talked to him gently and tried to coax him out with my reassuring words. What am I doing? Like a muskrat is going to understand my words of encouragement. So I left him to figure it out and told the kids to leave him alone so he could get out on his own. I just pictured one of the kids opening the window from the inside to “free” him into our house. Now that would be a story.
I told my husband about our little “Wild Kingdom” adventure but he seemed less entertained and more annoyed about the condition of our screen. I guess it can be frustrating when your house gets wrecked by all your kids and woodland animals. Anyway, by dinner he was gone (the muskrat, not my husband.)
The girls saw me working on this post and came to look at the pictures, “There’s the hamster!” Callie said. Guess I really do need to work on those animal flashcards I dismissed earlier (see Positive Reinforcement).