When I was about 13 years old I was hunting in a small woods by our creek with my Sheridan pellet rifle and came across a strange animal. It looked exactly like the brownish orange fox squirrels in eastern Nebraska but had a long, strait hairless tail like a muskrat. I had apparently surprised it from a fairly close distance and it ran to a tree and tried to climb it but couldn't. I thought that I could catch it as it did not appear to be able to run very fast so I set down the pellet rifle and started chasing it. I remember it had a bloody nose, which I thought was from overexertion. It had a little more endurance than I did and eventually got away, not up a tree, but into some brush. At that point I wished I had just shot it. A month or so later while driving a tractor, I saw a squirrel up in a tree with a tail that did not have much hair on it. However, the tail was not completely hairless like that on the animal I chased. Also its tail was not strait but curved more like a normal squirrel. I always thought these two were siblings and were the products of a squirrel mating with a muskrat. Would that be possible? Or was it just a squirrel with a strait, hairless tail that could not climb a tree? And by the way, I did once catch a muskrat by hand. I was sitting along a very shallow creek and a muskrat was walking up the creek. I knew muskrats would eat meat if they could so I sat still and made a squeeking noise with my lips, like a preditor call. The muskrat came to within a few feet of me and then I chased it. It made it to the creek but the water was so shallow it had to run instead of swim and I caught it by the tail. I figured I was probably lucky to not have gotten bitten and let it go.