Like a Cat in a Boilersuit

How else would you describe a running otter?

After three years up on the hill, I came across my first otter last night. It comes as no surprise that they are up there, and even if I hadn’t found their tracks in the snow, I would have guessed that they were about given that the low ground on the Chayne is criss-crossed with trouty streams and boggy moss. I was lamping along the main track when a shadow crossed the road infront of me, but rather than immediately identify the black silhouette, I realised that my first reaction had been to think “that looks like a cat in a boilersuit”.

The otter ran around the car in a big circle, coming within a few feet at one stage. I was whipping him up into a frenzy by sucking the back of my hand and squealing like a wounded rabbit, and his baggy, loping waddle brought him closer and closer. He had cracking great whiskers, and when he stopped in the road, he gave me a good chance to get an idea of his size. His tail was in the verge and his chin was above the grassy centre- a distance which I measured today as being just less than four feet. After a while, he trickled away into the grass, leaving me to wonder whether or not I had gone insane. I still think that there is some truth in the comparison…

Also worth recording that today I heard my first skylark of the year, calling high up the air above the midden.


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