Our ace reporter, Tara Lindquist, offered an explanation, the day after the column appeared, for the mystery creature I had seen that Sunday night just outside Dodge Center city limits. She had a picture of maned wolf pups and asked if that might be what I had seen. They did look very much like the creature I saw, very dark, very furry legs and even a similar face. Apparently, people in the U.S. have acquired some of these unusual animals, which are a member of the same family as dogs, wolves and foxes, and have them as pets. It is possible that someone in the area may have one and that it was just roaming around in the right place that night.
I don't think that is actually the explanation, though. The maned wolf, which is native to South America, doesn't stay dark as it gets older. By the time it got as large as the animal I saw, it would probably have acquired more of the adult maned wolf appearance, which is more like a fox with very long legs. However, I'm not sure of that. So, if anyone out there has a pet maned wolf, please let me know.
Angela Putnam stopped by the office and suggested the picture and description sounded to her like I might have seen a wolverine. To be honest, that is what it looked like to me, but I can't imagine how a wolverine would have wandered this far from normal wolverine territory. Putnam thought she recalled someone seeing one in southern Minnesota years ago, but was not sure where or when. We also discussed the black bear on Main Street in Dodge Center for Harvest Fest last year. We've had moose, cougar and black bear visitors wandering through, so maybe a wolverine isn't all that farfetched to consider.
Speaking of Harvest Fest, it is coming this weekend. There are a lot of new attractions this year to complement the regular features. Everything starts on Friday, the 13th at 4 p.m. You don't have to come in costume, but there will be a Friday the 13th costume party so you may want to get outfitted for the fun. There is a schedule elsewhere in this paper, so I won't go into detail here but am looking forward to seeing you at Harvest Fest.
We checked out Marigold Days in Mantorville this past weekend. What an extravaganza! It is amazing how many vendors there are and how many people come to enjoy the entertainment and shopping opportunities. Just walking around to see everything is worthwhile for those of us with a few pounds to spare. It was the most interesting exercise I've gotten in quite some time.
The next big event coming to Mantorville is the Zumbro Bend Rendezvous coming the last weekend in September, the 27th through the 29th. Pray for dry weather that weekend.
The Triton School Grand Opening Open House is coming Sunday, September 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be tours of the school so everyone can get acquainted with the new additions and renovations. It is really worth taking the time to see. The newly completed school has to be one of the finest, most up-to-date educational facilities in Minnesota.
Getting back to my mystery creature, if anyone else sees it, please let me know-and get a picture, if you can.