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The Otter


Momma saw you first.

I was busy—poking my nose under wet snow, thawed just enough to walk on it without slipping.  “Look, pup!” she said, distracting me from what I was doing. “There he is.”

Just up from the riffle, where the creek makes sounds like so much white noise, you were there. Swimming. Gliding, really. Head above water, you left a small wake—a line like the trail of an airplane in flight.

“It’s an otter, pup.” A beaver, I think. The one who has left his mark on the old sycamore tree.

How brave you are to take to the water like that. It’s cold and icy there.

When I was young pup, I could swim. Maybe when the weather is warmer, you’ll remind me how.

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