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Why I Otter Kill You! March 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Happiness, Humor, Nature.

I write in a makeshift office, in the corner of the master bedroom.  

When I sit at my desk, face forward, my monitor is just to the left of my keyboard. 

Straight ahead is a window, through which I can observe a lagoon teeming with wildlife, constantly distracting me from my well-intended efforts to write The Great American Novel.

Last November, I commenced work on my NaNoWriMo effort . . . The Journey.  

For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), NaNoWriters embark on a thirty-day Odyssey to produce a 50,000 word novel.  By Day Twelve, writers should be approaching (or past) the 20,000 word mark.   

By Day Twelve of my effort, I had managed to reach word 17,237. 

Close enough, but no cigar.

On Day Twelve, as I sat at the keyboard, allegedly working toward the 50,000 word destination, I became hopelessly distracted by the view outside my window.  

As indicated in my last post, Florida Is For The Birds, many fine feathered Floridian friends attract (and hold) my attention on a daily basis.

On Day Twelve, pelicans, ibis, cormorants, anhingas, herons, egrets, and ducks paraded around outside my window ~ but none were to blame for distracting me. 

Instead, two otters captured and held my attention with their captivating playful antics for most of the morning. 

I first spotted the otter pair as they strolled amiably out of the mangroves, side by side, and slid down the grassy bank into the water at the far side of the lagoon, a short 30 yards from my desk. 

Running to get the binoculars, I watched them playing in the water for a few minutes, heads bobbing up, then disappearing after each dive, with long, lean tails whipping through the air behind them in one fluid movement. 

Then, almost as if they knew they had an audience on the other side of the looking-glass, they finished their morning swim, and decided to put on a delightful stage show, just for my amusement. 

Up out of the water they charged, racing each other to the tree line.  The victor quickly butting heads with the loser, then turning tail to bounce away.  The loser giving chase and playfully tackling his opponent. 

Down they went, rolling and tussling and tumbling together in an amusing display of agility punctuated by the flash of sharp pointed teeth. 

With lightning speed, the tagged leader would race away, playing Catch Me If You Can, before rolling quickly onto its back to expose its belly for the follower to pounce on, nibble at, then bounce off, before racing away as the new, undisputed, otter-weight champion of the world!  

Of course, even otters run out of steam eventually. 

When they did, one lay down on the bank, directly in front of my window, and the other, using the first otter’s sleek furry back as a pillow, lay down at a perpendicular angle.  

Satisfied that the show was over, I got back to the business at hand (writing, writing, madly writing) in a well-intentioned effort to reach the short-term goal of 20,000 words by the end of Day Twelve.  

Then, obviously sensing that they had lost their audience, both otter heads popped up simultaneously, and stared directly into my window, compelling me to pick up the binoculars anew.  

Recharged and rejuvenated by their brief nap, the otter antics began again as they kicked it back into high gear, taking turns playing Follow-the-Leader and Ring-Around-The-Rosie, with the temporary leader being tackled into submission by the follower, who taunted and teased the leader, rapidly chittering, Why I otter kill you! ~ all the while chasing and bouncing and pouncing and tussling until it was time to switch roles once again.

So, that’s why, self-imposed deadlines or not, I rarely write as much as I otter.


1. RichardWScott - March 24, 2010

Distraction is rampant, I fear. No matter where you live or work. My office is upstairs, with a door that closes and shuts out unwanted sounds.

But it doesn’t matter. My web browser calls to me. It’s OK, I’m researching. Sort of.

2. nrhatch - March 24, 2010

Just so.

If the birds and otters didn’t distract me . . . something else would.

3. Graydon Archer - March 24, 2010

I can sympathize with your writing distractions. But (Ah, theres always a but) as I read along with your distractions, I began to wish myself
as distracted by such beauty and delight as you were.
Then I thought of this. Abraham Lincoln, was faced with the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil. Aprox. 359,528 men lost their lives in the war. On July 2nd, and 3rd., 52,000 med died at Gettysburg,Pa. in a 48 hour spand. The United States was falling apart.

On Nov. 16th, 1865, Lincoln was asked to say a few words to deicate a small patch of ground for a grave site. In the midst of war and turmoil, untold stress, and remorse, Lincoln wrote the Gettsburg Address in one day, and delivered it the next. Arguably one of the most eloquent speach ever written.

Talk about a distraction! So, you can do it Nancy, no matter what those otters do. :):):):):):):):)

4. nrhatch - March 24, 2010

Thanks, Graydon.

I doubt I’ll write anything approaching the Gettysburg Address, in all its eloquence, but I appreciate the vote of confidence! : )

5. Graydon Archer - March 24, 2010

You know, Lincoln told one of his cabinet members after writing it, he thought it lacked any depth. And that he was dissapointed in his wording. Hmmmmm, perhaps you underestimate just how well YOU write! Now, no more of that “doubting Thomas” attitude! :):):)

6. nrhatch - March 24, 2010

Thanks, Graydon. (I hope I don’t turn into an Ego-On-A-Stick.) Here . . . have a Walrus. (:3=

7. ceceliafutch - January 7, 2012

That’s why I otter be an otter! 😉

nrhatch - January 7, 2012

Two of them were out there this morning having a great time running up and down the banks and splashing around . . .

I thought of you.

8. bluebee - February 10, 2013

Just as well you’ve moved. Although, I expect the view you have now is just as distracting

nrhatch - February 10, 2013

This is where we moved to ~ our previous view in Maryland (of the Chesapeake Bay) was gorgeous too. But colder.

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