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Wednesday August 24, 2016
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In Search of Muskrat

 

continued

This tale of a tail comes to us from Native American lore, which has much to say about these water-loving rodents (our own name for them is a Native-American-English mashup). Perhaps the most important legend concerns Muskrat's role in the creation of the world.

As told by the Potawatomi, in the beginning the world was covered with water. A man floated in a canoe and cried, for he could find no land. Muskrat swam up and explained that there was plenty of land--right beneath them. He dove down deep and brought up some earth, then dove down again and brought up some more.

Muskrat then enlisted the animal chiefs of the waters to bring up still more earth, which the man used to create the world. The man marked out where he wanted rivers to go, and Muskrat dug the channels.

Muskrats still love the water. With keen eyes and abundant patience, you can find them in many places around Ann Arbor.

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