Okay, who here doesn’t love ‘possums? Those cute, adorable little rascals…
What? You don’t love them? You want to see them dead, which is why you swerve to hit them at night while driving home in your SUV?
Well, I love them. From their long, ugly snouts to their skinny, rat tails; and just look at those adorable little toes! I find them to be just charming little creatures. Okay, perhaps charming isn’t quite the right word. But I do like them in an offbeat sort of way. I was even able to hold one once; a young ‘possum who’s mother had been killed had been taken in by an oppossum orphanage. It was so soft you just wouldn’t believe it. Of course, if you’ve got tail issues, you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the fact that they wrap it around your arm just like they would a tree. But that little orphaned oppossum had me wrapped around his skinny little rat tail in a matter of moments as he snuggled down in my arms and dozed off just like a baby…
Last year one of the dogs was playing with a young possum outside and I put it into a tub. It took a few hours, but it’s heart rate finally bumped up enough that it climbed out of the tub and wandered away.
This morning when I got up, I spotted Tait outside with something gray. At first I thought one of my chickens had gotten loose over night, but when I finally got the dog to drop it, I realized it was a young possum. Poor thing! Playing dead out there, trying to avoid getting eaten. I called the dogs in and left the baby on the lawn while I did my chores, hoping it’s blood would get to pumping and it would get up and wander off before the dogs came back out.
No such luck. ‘Possums take a long time to come back to ‘life’, especially on such a cold night as this one had been. This one evidentally had no desire to get up, so I went and got an old rabbit cage, put on a pair of gloves, wrapped the possum in an old jacket and put it in the cage, thinking I’d just put it out of harms way so the dogs could come back out and the little dear would remain safe. The best place I could think of was the back of my pickup. As long as it was in there, I figured I’d toss in a little hay and a doggie bisciut for when the little guy woke up. And then I went about my daily routine with the dogs happily trotting around wondering what had happened to their chew toy.
A little later, the men in my life were out of bed. The first thing they did was wonder outloud where the possum had gone. What? It’d been there last night? Yes, they said, it had. It was dead, they told me. I assured them it wasn’t…it was playing possum…
“Nope,” they said. “Not playing.”
“Oh…but then that means…”
“You’ve got a dead ‘possum in the back of your truck.”