Muskrat Love- page 2 | Travel | Smithsonian
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Muskrat lunch was also available in the school cafeteria. (Abigail Tucker)

Muskrat Love

An annual festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore celebrates an unlikely mascot

Chances are it won't. As old folks retire from running the show, children and grandchildren take their places, along with newcomers to the area who've gotten the "mud between their toes." Everyone seems to want the local beauty queen to carry a filet knife as gracefully as a long-stemmed rose, and for little boys to aspire to be World Champion Muskrat Skinners.

The muskrat, too, is a survivor. He's outlasted centuries of trapping, nutria invasions, the eagle's comeback—even the fires that people set every winter in the marshes, which clear the way for new grass come spring.

About Abigail Tucker

A frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Abigail Tucker is writing a book about the house cat.

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