Possums in the wild are not the world’s most attractive creatures. They become less attractive and edge into startling when you’re standing in the backyard at night wearing your nightgown with a cat under one arm and a broom under the other, and then a wee possum jumps out of the herb garden and scurries down the walk. By jump, I mean vault with super possum speed and agility. The movement then sets off the neighbor’s motion light which perfectly spotlights a huge possum who barks/pig snorts at you. Time to go back inside.
When we lived in town, the King of the Possums- his official title- used to lumber up on to the back porch to eat the outdoor cat’s food. He seemed like he was the size of a large dog, sporting matted dirty fur and battle scars. Fortunately, the cat realized that she shouldn’t try to take him and just sat on the porch railing with a disdainful cat expression on her face. I once broke a broom chasing him off.
I have never witnessed a possum “play possum.” This is bullshit. If one ever did “play possum”, it would only be as a trap to lure you in and eat your face.
Certain family members firmly believe that possums in the road are simply attaching themselves to the bottom of your vehicle in anticipation of biting your ankles when you get out of the car. As I have stated before, my sister in particular has a very strong negative response to anything possum. These days, I am more willing to accept possums for what they are -giant, rat-looking marsupials- which has really led to some entertaining moments. I have a backup stash of possum pictures on my phone to randomly send my sister. I’ve mailed her a very realistic looking possum inspired dog squeak toy. I once hid photos of possums in most of her birthday and Christmas presents. Not all of them. That would ruin the element of surprise. I had a friend’s child deliver the gift of a possum at my sister’s wedding. All because I love her or the way she shrieks and throws things.
So when someone shared a video of baby possums eating fruit, I knew that she needed to see it too. Cleaned up at the rehab center, they really are kind of cute plus you can hear their little possum lips smacking as they eat. As per usual during a visit home and time spent with Dad and Gpa, conversation turned to firearms. Our father knows all random men who shoot guns and because he is their guru, they will stop to talk at great length. Having nothing to contribute, I took this opportunity to slide my phone with the video playing across the table to my sister
She reacted in her usual way and told me that I was a sicko. However this gave Gpa an opportunity to blend both conversation topics and tell her a story about guns AND possums.
Gpa said that he and his brothers had a 7 shot that couldn’t hit anything, and one day they cornered a possum under some rocks?, a log?, scrap metal?- I’m not clear on this point. One of them circled around to block the possum’s route while Brother Bill (this is how Gpa references his brothers) who had the 7 shot, circled to block the other end of the route.
***Side note: This story is taking place in pre-WW II Southern Ohio so it is totally kosher for young boys to be running around with real guns to randomly shoot at animals and possibly each other. The strategy in this story sounds like a good opportunity to accidentally shoot your sibling. Don’t worry, everyone including the possum survives.
Brother Bill proceeded to empty the 7 shot at the possum. Thankfully, the gun’s poor calibration or whatever makes guns shoot accurately, saved all involved. He did not hit the possum. I was busy picturing a Matrix version of the possum doing backbends to slow motion dodge a barrage of bullets.
I think my sister would have preferred a bloody end for the possum who, in that case, would have probably been eaten by Gpa and family. He has stated before that groundhog does not taste very good so I know he was not above eating random wildlife. This story set off a whole string of possum stories from everyone present, so I was happy to make her day.
While searching for the original link for the first possum video, I found this adorable group eating bananas. The possum-bilities are endless.
Thank you to my degree in English and Barney Stinson for the power to make up words without question. Possum-bilities are possimpible!