I’m guessing  the reason it’s at the back of the list of submissions to the Muskrat Falls Inquiry is because the list is alphabetical.

The document in question is signed Ondatra Zibethicus.

I’m sure a duly-constituted inquiry would not slow-track a submission just because it’s written on soggy birch bark, and has a somewhat distinctive musky bouquet.

Maybe they just haven’t gone to Wikipedia or Hinterland Who’s Who and learned that O.Z. is, in fact, the go-to authority on all things Muskrat, the head muskrat herself.

I don’t like to use the term “leaked” in connection with a dam project, but I seem to have received an advance copy of this document and I’m reproducing it here just to show what the inquiry has to look forward to.

“Dear Homo Sapiens

We of Muskrat-kind greet you and wish to offer what we hope are a few helpful suggestions for your great project on our river.

Accessibility is a key issue.

The young of our species have boundless enthusiasm for the project, which they view as an adrenalin-pumping water park ride.

They’re already calling it “Rats in a Blender” and can’t wait for their first slide through the turbines as a rite of passage

We older rodents do have some concerns

Gravity will take care of the ride down, but the climb back will be hard on our senior citizens.  It’s a proven fact that a major cause of injury to aging rodents is muskrat falls. We would ask that Nalcor consider installing an Acorn Stairlift or similar product for upstream traffic.

We also worry that our young will abandon the hard-working ways of their ancestors for a giddy whirl of sluice-surfing.

We suggest screening off the intakes during school hours.

We muskrats do not expect something for nothing.

It has come to our attention that some of your elderly are concerned that the cost of the project will make them unable to heat their dens. We can easily understand that this is a great concern for those who, unfortunately, lack our options of being humanely trapped or eaten by wolves.

We are prepared to help.

Our people have a long tradition of huddling together for warmth. Some of our older citizens do find riverbank winters a bit challenging, and would consider sharing their huddling skills with your people. We may be too old for Bulrush gathering but we’re still warm.

Forty or fifty furry companions under the futon translate into major savings on the electric bill.

As well, empty nesters will probably welcome the patter of so many tiny feet around the house.

So there, dear Homo Sapiens, are a few of our thoughts on this project and how we may jointly derive some benefit. Please do not consider them a “Muskrat Ramble” but give them the consideration they deserve.

Let me assure you that we muskrats want to help.

To paraphrase your great poet Charlie Pride:

If you want some kilowatts.
Well I hope that you get lots.
It’s the power bill that matters after all.
But if you find the rate
Is getting much too great,
We’ll be there until the last Muskrat Falls

Yours in Co-operation,
Ondatra Zibethicus”

I can’t wait to see what the inquiry makes of this.