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Kale Salad Anyone?

Date Posted: 08/04/2016

Everybody needs a helping hand, even Mother Nature. This week Theatre Orangeville staff found a young muskrat huddled in a window well beside our office at the Visitor Information Centre.

The window well is a good 18-inches deep, and since we live next to a marsh, homeland to lots of these industrious aquatic rodents, it’s easy to see how an inexperienced youngin’ could have stumbled into a “pit” too deep to escape.

Susan Reynolds, the smiling face who greets tourists at the centre, noticed our little friend and suggested I share some of my kale salad. When I was hired I didn’t know that kale salad was part of the required diet for senior theatre staff, but apparently it has become the go-to food for at least the artistic director and general manager.

While Susan called the folks at the SPCA on Riddell Road, salad was sprinkled near the critter. Not a flicker of interest. Does the muskrat, like my husband, find kale a less than appetizing green?

When two uniformed animal welfare officers pulled up in their truck, their advice was to place a board from the bottom of the window well to the top, to allow the muskrat to exit on its own, probably at night when it is safer from predators. While we discussed the vagaries of the weather and its impact on the natural world, as well as the intricacies of muskrat behaviour, the critter popped up from its corner, waddled over to the kale and began munching away. It was clearly a healthy specimen, with a healthy appetite.

SPCA officers then made a judgement call and before you can say Bob’s Your Uncle, they lowered a grabber on the end of pole into the window well, snatched the muskrat and plopped it on the ground. It headed off, purposefully, towards the wetland and presumably a more appropriate diet.

The kale remains in place. The muskrat has not returned.

Bernadette

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