I never thought I would see what I saw today on the highway, but I surely did! It was both amazing and horrific -- amazing in the fact that it is one of my favorites, horrific in the fact that it almost met it's Maker today, and if I would have been witness to that, I surely would have fallen apart.
My son and I were headed home from his preschool on the highway that runs right through our city. Mind you, we were completely in the city -- no wilderness for miles. An animal ran out into traffic one car ahead of us, but this was no ordinary animal, and I know because I immediately jumped on the Internet when I got home to see if in fact it was the animal I thought it was. Sure enough, the animal was a RIVER OTTER!
Let me assure you that river otter sightings are not common in our city, unless you are at the zoo!
Coincidentally we had just been to the zoo again yesterday and seen my favorite animal exhibit, the river otter. Ever since I was a little girl, it has been my favorite little animal to see at the zoo (at our zoo anyways -- I have no idea if river otters are common zoo animals anywhere else). I love the way the river otter slips and slides and twists and turns so effortlessly in the water. Plus, they are just so cute. The cuteness factor always weighs heavily in my love for animals. The only time I have ever seen one in the wild (besides today, which makes sighting #2 for me) was when we lived in Minnesota, and my mom brought my ailing grandmother up for a visit in the fall. It was a gorgeous week for weather, so we took her on to a small riverboat cruise in a neighboring town. We sat on the front of the riverboat in the sunshine, marveling at the amazing fall colors, when all of a sudden, in the water ahead, there was a friendly little guy splishing and splashing, his beady little eyes glistening in the sun. One of the cutest things I've ever seen in nature, and I've never forgotten it. It is definitely one of my favorite Minnesota memories.
Anyway, today's river otter had decided to try and cross the highway. Very lucky for him, all of the cars were paying attention and were able to dodge him without hitting him. He quickly turned and ran back up the enbankment from which he came (and where I'm hoping he'll stay).
When I was looking on the Internet to confirm my sighting, I read that in the spring, river otters travel to find their mates. Bless his little heart, he better start looking elsewhere out of the concrete jungle to find him a good woman! They are known to be little travelers, always on the move unless they are with their pups.
I sure hope God points that little guy in a different direction and helps to keep him out of harm's way from this point forward, but I must admit I'm thankful for our fun little sighting today!