Otters in the Pond

by Jeremy Chupp | Oct 1, 2023 | 0 comments

River otter. Photo © Landewarphotography/

One nice, sunny midsummer morning my dad told me to go back to the pond and start our irrigation pump. I snatched a gas can, hopped on my bike, and pedaled back to the pond.

Before I write more, I’ll describe how our pond looks. The original pond is fed by a swamp. In the summer, the swamp dries up, and we run out of water to irrigate our tomatoes. So just recently we dug a new pond beside the old one and put a dike in between. Near the top of the dike is a culvert. We put a liner in the new pond to hold water. At this point both ponds were full of water.

I came back close to the pond and parked my bike. Sometimes ducks are there, so I always creep up quietly. I was walking over the dike when I heard a weird, hissing noise. What was that? I wondered.

I whirled around to look at the new pond. Right in the middle a head broke through the water. Behind it, a tail came up. An OTTER! Just like that he almost stood up in the water, then neatly slid underneath, barely making a ripple.
I was still trying to get over the surprise of seeing an otter in our pond when, behind me, I heard that same hissing sound. I whirled around just in time to see another otter disappearing under the water.

Was I ever astonished! I never dreamed that the first time I would see a live otter, it would be in our pond and that there would be two of them. Just like that, the head and tail reappeared close to the swamp. Mr. Otter stared at me for probably a minute; then again he stood up in the water before gliding underneath. He repeated this about two more times; then he was gone. I waited awhile, but he didn’t show himself again. Finally I decided that he was gone for good, so I started the motor and slowly walked away.

To this day I still don’t know if there were two otters there, maybe scouting for a place to have their young ones in the spring, or if there was only one. If only one was there, then he really hurried through the culvert to the other pond. But I guess it doesn’t matter how many there were. I was thrilled to see them, and I surely hope they’ll be back!

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