Otters seem to capture human affection without doing a thing. Just floating along, they make us love them. Something about that fuzzy, furry face draws us in. Otter fur is so thick, over a million hairs per square inch, that their babies simply float after they are born on the surface of the water, their fuzzy hair holding air like an inner tube for the young things. For too long they were hunted and nearly extinguished as a species. Now they enjoy protection and are returning to lakes, rivers and the sea. Actually, there are two kinds of otters, the River Otter and his cousin, the Sea Otter. Sea Otters range along the coasts and love mucking around in kelp beds, their natural habitat.
The illustration above is an image of “Potter” who is a character in my book, Daniel~The One Who Got Away. He is seen here balancing a sea urchin on his belly, which is the preferred “dinner table” for otters. Urchins are a delectable favorite food for these creatures. Potter provides a neighborly presence for Daniel when he is alone in his beach house retreat in the San Juan Islands. Potter tries initially to “rob” Daniel by raiding his outdoor refrigerator. That doesn’t work and they end up in a relationship of exchange and camaraderie. Potter’s intuitive, earthy presence is a balm and a gift to his suffering human friend. Where would we humans be without the presence of those creatures, our animal companions, as we walk our walk on this earth?