Dianna provides us with our first submission from Illinois:
Okay. I have searching the internet all day to figure out what I saw this past Saturday. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was just trying to figure out what the little buddy was doing in the middle of the road. I live in Plainfield, Illinois. I was driving and in the middle of the road (next to a corn field and Family Video) there was a beaver-like mammal right there. I was at a light, so I rolled down the window and literally said “Hey, are you alright little buddy?” He looked at me with his beaver like eyes/face and turned around and starting walking slowly the other way. That is when I saw his tail. Not at all beaver-like. It was long and hairy, but sort of flat like a ribbon, and didn’t look stiff. I have no idea what I saw. Maybe he was a muskrat with a hairy tail, or a Nutria…but they are extinct in Illinois.Hmmmmm…the mystery. I hope I see him again.
Aha! Yours is the first posting I have found that may answer my latest burning question; what is the furry dude living under my shed? I moved to Massachusetts 2 weeks ago from So. Cal., and this little guy isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen. He does look rather like a muskrat with a hairy tail, although his tail is kinda short. And wow! He is seriously nervous! I was in the kitchen, watching him raid the leavings from my squirrel feeder, and sneezed; you’d have thought that he’d been shot, the way he exploded. He didn’t come out from under the shed for at least 15 minutes. Now that I’ve read your post, I’m going to have to look up Nutrias, and find out if they live around here. Take heart…you’re not alone!