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Magic Of The Woods

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By the Adirondack woodsmen along the banks of the West Canada creek the otter is regarded as quite as sly as the fox, inasnmch as it is very difficnlt to trap in any kind of contrivance. There are fewer stories about the creature'sinfwdligence, as the animáis are scarce anu have not been so much observed as have the foxes. There has been, and probably is, an Otter that forsix yearsanyhow, and perhaps longer, has traveled down the creek wiqter and summer about every two ■weeks. In the winter it left a running, sliding trail in the snow on the ice, selkm leaving the creek bed to go into a oye or over land for a dozen or 15 rods. I In summer weather it fished and caught irogs in the rves of the flats. A good many shots have been fired at it and a lot of traps set for it, but none was ver successful. It is believedby woodssaen that the otters, like the heil divers, toons, mink and others, dodge shot or ball. I saw this otter once some years ago in the summer time, and while only one feature of the animal is distinct in my mind, I do nat recollect any other wild animal so well. The body is a mere glimmer of black in waving swale grass. Bren the head is a burly, rusty gray ehadow, a sort of background for the two eyes. I have seen deers when they were standing still looking at me, have looked at squirrels, rabbits, partridges, foxes and other wild animáis alarmed by my preence, but their forms, rather than their eyes, are more or less distinct. In Sact, the eyes heem seoondary in the I wind pictures, except in the case of the otter. It seems to me that the otter did Mot merely look at me; it was more as jf it looked into me, the same as the sensation one has wheu some one - a wan or Vv'oman - "reads your innermost tboughts. " These eyes were large and fnll rounded, dark brown with a shimer of light gray skating across and around the center, and with a lively lieauty as different from the dead beauty ï a deer's full eye. It sent precisely snob chills up and down my back as dark human eyes have done. It was a tense, particular look, and not the general gaze of a bird or other animal. The tter, I think, hypnotized . me, for I did pt shoot, although my iuupression is hat we looked at one another for a minute or two.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News