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Possum stories

As I am stuck, immobile, under a very fat cat, allow me to tell some possum stories. Three times in my life I have encountered a possum, and all three times it played dead and I believed it.

The first time, I was about fifteen and on our small farm. I startled it, it fell over in the grass and just passed the hell out. I had a varmint gun with me but I just couldn’t shoot something limp at my feet. I am wuss.

See, a possum had been killing our chickens for days. And they don’t do a nice job of it, sometimes mutilating them without killing them outright. Gosh, was my mother mad at me! By the time I went inside and brought her out, possum was there none.

Second time, it was curled up at the bottom of a public trash can. Not my problem.

Third time, I was backing out of the garage and I went over something BIG with my right front wheel. Mind you, I drove a Miata, so everything I went over felt big. But this was genuinely a large and portly possum. Dead, natch. But it had blood trickling from its mouth, so I thought, “this time, for real!”

I was late for work, so I decided to deal with it when I got home. And yup, it was gone.

I don’t often sit around of an evening and reminisce about Possums I Have Known. Somebody mentioned possums on Twitter and it brought it all back.

Pic is from Wikimedia and the taker has kindly put it in the public domain.

No possum post is complete without another mention of the Opossum Lady.


Comment from Pupster
Time: April 20, 2021, 10:46 pm

Possums I Have Known have all been big, fat, scary and gross. We had a skunk problem a while back, and set a live trap for it. One housecat first took the bait and was released, next we caught a possum who played dead for about 4 hours after we opened the trap. I think he was waiting for more peanut butter. Skunk was caught and sent to live on a farm in the country the day after.

And yup, it was gone.

Zombie Possum possumbly.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 20, 2021, 11:56 pm

One in an old out house pit, we were dove hunting not using the pit.
Oh, and with a rattle snake, also trapped in said pit.
Not sure how playing dead worked for him/her that day.

Once hiding under our car in the driveway.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: April 21, 2021, 1:19 am

We used to have dozens of them when we lived in rural KS. I loved them…nature’s hoovers. My dogs ran all of my 6+ acres and never had a tick. I let the non-venomous snakes and possums live. Anything else was a maybe.

Comment from Drew458
Time: April 21, 2021, 12:47 pm

We have several here that finish off the cat food we put out for our outdoor semi-feral kitteh. They are the slowest eaters ever, which surprised me as they have so many teeth. You are lucky you never encountered their primary defense act, which is to pass gas. And possum poof is not something you ever want to get a sniff of.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 21, 2021, 1:26 pm

Hmmm. Where to start?

Back in my corporate warrior days, I was sent to New York City for a week for reasons that need not concern us here. That left Mrs. Vegetable at home alone in our little place close to the mouth of the James River in Virginia. This point is important for reasons that will be revealed shortly.

One evening as I sat in my hotel room I received a phone call from a very agitated Mrs. Vegetable. There was …something… on our little patio which both excited and scared the cats… and Mrs. Vegetable. As you may know, she is a Japanese girl, and unfamiliar with our native American wildlife. For example she LIKES squirrels and feeds them. Anyhow, she began to describe the creature which was of course a possum, but she didn’t know that. All she knew was that it looked like a GIANT rat in some advanced stage of zombie-like decay, and that is how she described it to me, struggling to find the words in English needed to describe a big ol Virginia possum. I learned the Japanese word for “creepy” that evening. What the…..?

It suddenly occurred to me that just 5 miles away, at the mouth of the James River, was a giant nuclear power plant… [Insert Twilight Zone theme music here] …. Damn! Were all those atomic monster horror movies true?

Fortunately, before I mentioned that to her, it suddenly clicked with me that it had to be a possum, and I tried to explain that that -thing- was perfectly normal for North American woods. The fact that these things were quite common where we lived did not comfort her much for some reason.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: April 21, 2021, 1:59 pm

This subject allows me to share this – https://www.dropbox.com/s/25vb0p3sfrf0vu3/IMG_2839.JPG?dl=0

We know what to do with ’em in the Sunny South!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 21, 2021, 5:49 pm

After a can of that stuff, you’re ready for RoadKill Souffle!

Baldrick’s Rat Au Van.

Comment from BullDawgGuy
Time: April 22, 2021, 1:50 am

I have chickens and I have wild possums at my house. When the dog barks at them they play dead. I then put them in a nice cat carrier and relocate them 2 miles down the road.
They may be coming back but since I don’t tag them I will never know. The worst possum death I ever saw was when a possum was stupid enough to bite one of my dogs on the snout and that allowed the dog to pull the possum out of his protected area where the dog could not reach it. Within seconds the possum was shredded apart by both of my dogs at that time. It still gives my wife nightmares when she thinks about that poor possum.

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