Ned the Nutria 

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of ever seeing a nutria, then let me paint you a picture. Imagine a New York rat: a long tailed, beady-eye animal, with large teeth protruding front teeth. Now, imagine that rat growing to the size of a small beaver, throw it into some waterway like a creek, a ditch, or even marsh, let it live there to munch on weeds and whatever else it eats.

Now imagine that it is dark. You have come home two hours ago. And because you live in crummy student housing, you need to take your laundry to a building across the parking lot. You walk past the bushes and assume that the rustling you hear is just the neighborhood cat, a pleasant but annoying creature always trying to sneak into other people's apartments. While looking at the bushes for the invisible cat, you nearly miss stepping on the giant rat creature obliviously munching on acorns under your apartment mailbox. Since you have startled it, it dashes off towards the creek with an animal burst of speed, which startles you. Simultaneously, the rustling in the bushes dashes off towards the creek. After removing the various laundry items that you, in a fright, accidentally threw up into the oak tree, you realize you have met a nutria.

Ned's Home

I had called a couple of times before to complain about these rat like disease carriers, but today, I finally went to visit the apartment manager to complain in person. As the creek behind the apartment we live in is actually a wildlife refuge, the manager says that he will have to call the fish and wildlife department. I know that the nothing will likely be done because, as I go to a state college, and the creek is a local park, I am officially in bureaucratic purgatory. Ned the Nutria, you have won the day my friend. If I can capture him on camera, I will try to post the picture here. For now, I can only be content to post a picture of the creek in which Ned lives.

23 November 2004
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