Friday, April 29, 2005

O Ye Possums Awake!

Oh, how wonderful! Oh, what Joy! I saw an opossum in the back yard this morning! The robin may be a harbinger of Spring but a possum is a sign of joy and wonder.

Several years ago, I found two large garbage cans upright outside the greenhouse. Both were filled without about 2" of water from a rain storm. One held four tiny bodies of curled up baby possums. I wept. Possums are a yard's best pal because they clean up the mess, make no trouble and are throwback prehistoric animals in our world. I love 'em. (Note to LLS: consider the imaginary playmate I had under my bed on Pecan Ave. You were barely born then so I guess you don't remember? Jelly donut memory here...)

I gently poured out the water in the cans watching the baby possums flow out on the ground. I couldn't stop crying at the thought that my carelessness had killed the finest yard creatures in the world. Why hadn't I taken the time to make nail holes in the base of the plastic cans so that water wouldn't collect in them?

I wandered away, too upset to do anything outdoors. Later, I came back to the cans and the babies were gone. I don't know if the babies were "playing possum" or if a predator had come for them. I never found out.

For years I've been searching for possums. Not an easy thing to do as they are quiet, night time wanderers who do not want to see people. Early this morning I saw a white and grey possum stroll around the azaleas pausing to check out some delicious potential treat in the grass. The possum looks like a close to the ground cat. If I hadn't seen the long skinny tail I might have thought it was Yukko, the neighbor's kitty.

Is April great or what? Beautiful Spring weather with cool mornings and evenings. Plenty of green growth, the season of pruning and celebrations! Eastertide means He's loose!


reverendmother said...

Thank you for this post!

I'm gardening-challenged, so I didn't know the utility of possums. All I know is that two nights ago, my best friend's dog brought in a dead possum and deposited it in her living room.

I'm much sadder about that now than I was before. Before I was pretty much grossed out.

Anonymous said...

St. C.,

Obviously , if you can love a possum, you are a woman of great faith and heart and possessing a wonderous ability to look beyond facades.

I have seen a possum, many in fact. They are not pretty creatures and appear to be an unholy cross between a large rat and a mole. No offense, but I think they were not told about the Ark,overheard a private discussion at night, and snuck on.

Southerners know that when God passed out natural defenses (ie, fox got cleverness, the porcupine got needles), the possum got a bad smell, bad looks and a general lack of culinary usefullness.

Admiring your wonderous heart, sad over your possum-loss story,
but still preferring dogs,


Songbird said...

We saw one in our backyard a few years ago; we're not in the woods, I think they are being driven into town by development in their more natural habitats. Sad.

Aola said...

I'm with anon. I hate possums. They look like giant rats, they stink to high heaven and they get in everything. Nasty creatures.