Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ratty not a Muskrat

Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, written early in the last century, is one of the best-loved children's books. In 2003 it was voted one of the UK's top 21 books in the BBC's Big Read. Some folk think that Ratty in the Wind in the Willows is a muskrat. Wrong! Ratty, contrary to what his name may imply, is a British water vole, a distant relative of his cousin from across the pond.

This muskrat was spotted in a marshy area leading to a rain runoff collector pond in one of the newest suburbs in London, Ontario. The culvert under the nearby major roadway, seen at bottom right, gives the muskrat quite the large range.

But if Ratty wasn't a muskrat, don't worry. The muskrat still has made it into pop culture. Are you old enough to recall The Captain and Tennille and their hit single Muskrat Love? No? Well, check out the YouTube video of Toni Tennille.

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