Muskrats (Ondatra zibethica) weigh around 2-4 pounds
and usually have a deep brown coat with a lighter belly.
Their black furless tails enable them to be good swimmers.
Muskrats feed mainly upon fish and crayfish as well as river weeds. They can be found living on the edges of ponds, lakes, and streams. Their homes are tall conical structures made of reeds and mud with the entrance usually underwater.
Laura and Pa noticed these homes in The Long Winter, and Pa commented how thick the walls had been made in preparation for a hard, cold winter.