Sunday, January 20, 2013

Say Hello . . .

. . . to my little friend!  Pat and I took a walk this morning and this is the little present I found.  Yep, nasty hippy went digging through road kill.  Don't worry.  I washed my hands instead of licking them clean.

I saw bleached white sticking up out of the grass and went to investigate.  Those are some nasty look'n choppers.  At first I thought it was a cat but the snout is too long to be a cat.  My second guess was fox but owing to the mass of gray fur around the bone pile, I'm pretty sure it's a possum.  I wondered about the gap between the canines and the small incisors but when I looked up "possum skull" I saw that it is a groove for the bottom canines to slot into.  The bottom jaw was missing.

So, now I'll share with you two possum stories.  I'll wax nostalgic and start by opening the way grandma would by telling you to "sit the hell down and listen!"

When we where little, my brother and sister and I went to play in the back yard which included a pasture behind the woodshed.  I was about 7 or 8 and for some reason an old lime green flannel blanket was laying in the middle of the pasture.  Back then we used a clothesline to dry clothes and I can see where the wind might have blown it loose and carried it into the back pasture.  When we went to investigate, we found a very large (20 lb?) possum curled up in it.  He was playing dead and his lips were curled back and we could see his shiny sharp teeth.  We didn't know any better and we figured he was asleep.  I think we turned him at least once and poked him a few times and he never budged.  When we told mom, she just about had a stroke over it.  I'm grateful now to that old possum.  He could have leapt up off the blanket and shredded us kids but I guess he somehow knew we were just kids and would leave him alone eventually.

Story number two involved my father finding a baby possum when he was young.  I think he was about 6 or 7.  At any rate, he brought it home and knew he would get in trouble so he hid it on their enclosed back porch where my grandmother did the wash.  There was a clothesline strung up inside so he curled the little possum's tale around the clothesline and left him hanging to sleep for the night.  Needless to say, when my grandmother did a load of laundry early the next morning she nearly had a heart attack and my dad got in big trouble.

Damn kids, and clotheslines, and possums!