I forgot one story.
Yesterday morning I was driving out of my driveway and around the curve of my street when I spotted a furry animal diving into the large drainage pipe by the road behind my neighbor's house. My initial reaction was "BRAKE!" because there are a number of cats in the neighborhood--but then almost immediately I realized, no, too darkish brown to be any neighborhood cat I would recognize.
My tired mommy brain then went through other possibilities.
Beaver! No. Not big enough. Porcupine? Armadillo?
Otter! It must be an otter! It was jumping into the water in the drain pipe, after all! Wow, a real ott--wait a minute--could it really be an otter?
What's that you say? Oh, a GROUNDHOG. Of course! My mistake.
You see, I didn't realize those were actual real animals that lived in neighborhood sometimes. That's what I get for growing up in the land of scorpions and coyotes. Not a lot of GROUNDHOGS around.
When I was retelling the story to my laughing husband later, even my five year old pointed out that "Mom, otters don't live on dry land."
Well, it looked like an otter, that's all I have to say.
It could have been an otter.
ps--this picture is not the actual animal, although we have seen it a time or two since. For this story, I googled "groundhog" and looked for one that resembled an otter.
I am unique.