Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Muskrat Love

We have a couple of muskrats at the pond this winter. I think I'll call them Suzie and Sam.

"Muskrat, muskrat, candle light
Doin' the town and doin' it right in the evenin'
It's pretty pleasin'
Muskrat Suzie, Muskrat Sam
Do the jitterbug at a Muskrat Land
And they shimmy, Sam is so skinny

And they whirl and they twirl and they tango
Singin' and jinglin' a jangle
Float like the heavens above
Looks like Muskrat Love

Nibblin' on bacon
Chewin' on cheese
Sam says to Suzie
Honey, would you please be my Mrs.
Suzie says, yes, with her kisses
Now, he's ticklin' her fancy
Rubbin' her toes
Muzzle to muzzle
Now anything goes as they wriggle
Sue starts to giggle

And they whirled and they twirled and they tango
Singin' and jinglin' a jangle
Floatin' like the heavens above
Looks like Muskrat Love

These lyrics, written by Willis Alan Ramsey in the early 70's don't look like the makings of a hit song, do they? But in 1976, The Captain and Tennille's version went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The words make it seem like it would be a jokie, snappy, cutesy little number, but the way Tennille sang it was more like a love ballad, really very pretty. And I liked the way the Captain used a synthesizer to make the sounds of muskrats.

What I remember about muskrats from my childhood was that their winter houses in the sloughs and marshes were the first I learned to identify. I remember the boys trapping muskrats and the small boards, shaped like ironing boards, used to stretch and tan the hides. I don't remember how much each pelt brought, though. (From what I can find online it looks like last season prices were from between $7.00 to $9.00.)

The muskrats on our pond don't have a winter home. I don't know if they're living in the cattails or have dug into the bank. Until today I had seen only one. Now that I know there are two, I'm hearing this song in my head and thinking ♪ muskrat love ♪.....

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