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Lack of Muskrat love

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Dakota Abbott, 16, edged Samantha Phillips, 17, to become Miss Outdoors 2008 in February in Maryland's Eastern Shore region's annual beauty-contest-and-muskrat-skinning festival. The two were the only beauty contestants (out of eight) who entered both competitions. Abbott won her skinning division, but while she sang a song for the judges, Phillips won the talent trophy by skinning a muskrat on stage.

"I'll be honest," she said to a Washington Post reporter. "I can't sing. I can't dance, and I don't play any musical instruments."

But she took her 4-inch blade, sticking it just above the tail, and sliced.

"You want to take your knuckles and separate the meat from the hide, just like this," she told the judges, with her hand inside the muskrat (as one of the judges recoiled in shock).

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