We were doing one of our favorite things the other day and found something pretty amazing swimming in one of the lakes of the Bois de Boulogne. We save all of our stale baguette ends and all of The Girl's toast crusts and bring them down to the lake to feed the ducks. We always have your garden variety ducks, but also some neat black ducks with white heads and black ducks with red heads. Pretty cool. (Which reminds me, I have to put a French Birding Guide on my Amazon Wish List.) On this particular day there was a family of geese that joined the other birds, shoving the little ones out of the way. Then this guy showed up.
All the birds gave him a WIDE berth, but he didn't seem interested in anything other than our baguette. We were not alone wondering what the heck this was! A small crowd gathered round, and only one older gentlemen know what it was, but of course it was the French word, and I didn't have anything to write the word down, and I have a horrible memory, so essentially it was a mystery.
We thought beaver immediately, but it didn't have a flat tale. Maybe an otter? And what's with the orange teeth? Our friends Google and Wikipedia shared with us that this little guy is an Israeli coypu, also know in English as a nutria or in French, a ragondin. Evidently they are low in cholesterol.
The things you learn when you just keep your eyes open...and save your crusts.