Sunday, October 9, 2011

Playing 'possum

This is the CUTE face.
When we were at the farm a few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and heard scratching sounds coming from the back part of the house. At first I wondered if someone was trying to break in, but then I realized that something was crawling inside of the wall by the back door. (Wildlife in The House With The Crooked Floor is nothing new. For example, see Mysterious Noises in the Nighttime from January 2011.) This time, I knew it wasn't a bird, and it sounded too big to be a mouse. I figured it was either a cat, a raccoon, or an opossum -- or possum, as it's called in The South. :)

There was nothing I could do, so I went back to sleep. The next morning, I told my Dad. He set out two traps, but didn't catch anything . . . until Saturday morning. When I got up to take the dogs out, there was a regular old domestic housecat in one of the traps. I'm not sure whose cat it was, but it was very calm and sweet, and didn't even hiss when the dogs came over to check it out. We let it go (of course) and didn't think anything more about it.

Until this morning. 

"There's a POSSUM in the trap!" were the first words I heard when I woke up today. I ran outside, and sure enough, a cute little opossum was sitting there. I say 'cute' because it really was cute . . . that is, until it started snarling at me. Then it looked like a demon from Hell. But then I'd probably snarl like a demon, too, if I was trapped in a cage and had creatures twenty times my size looking at me up close and personal.

This is the SNARL face.
Dad asked me what I wanted to do with it. Bubba wanted to pop a cap, but I'm not into the death penalty. We decided to take it to a swamp several miles away and release it into the wild. So that's what we did. "Have a nice life!" I yelled as he/she/it ran off into the swamp.  He/She/It didn't look back.

I've always heard that when cornered, opossums will pretend to be asleep or dead. I didn't witness this today. If anything, I saw that given the opportunity, the little bugger would probably tear me all to pieces. It may have been 'cute' when it wasn't snarling, but make no mistake. A wild animal is a wild animal. I just hope this wild animal wasn't a mother, and that we don't have little ones still in the house somewhere. Maybe I should call Billy the Exterminator just in case?