Houston, we have ‘possum.
We live squarely in suburbia. Tract houses in a planned community.
Our carefully plotted rows of homes, on a semi quiet street, in our bubble, also happens to be surrounded by some of the most breathtaking mountains and open areas. It doesn’t feel like we live in the wild but more often than not, the wild comes to us.
The hills evoke such a sense of peace and serenity. Our family spends a great deal of time in those open areas, spaces filled with wild critters going about their business. Having places like Corriganville Park, Rocky Peak and the Santa Susanna Mountains so close is such a precious gift. We have spent countless days watching a group of nesting birds, an active coyote den to see the pups (from a safe distance), hiking trails looking for mountain lion prints to cast, counting types of lizards, snakes, insects and picking up trash. Then we head back to our house, lock our front door and expect that the wild things stay safely in their designated areas.
Several years ago I had a little run in with our resident opossum.
I may have played football with it, by accident I swear. You can read about that here- Abusing the Local Wildlife.
Every couple months I seem to poke my face where it doesn’t belong (in the hedge) and a startled opossum hisses a threat. We’ve come to an understanding, the ‘Possum and I.
We have made a pact.
I live in the house and he can have the hedge.
He gets the backyard at night and I get it during the day.
The Handsome Prince can trim the hedge from now on.
I always seem to be surprised when there is a fox looking in our sliding glass door, a coyote on the porch or when a rather large great horned owl calls the neighbors palm tree home, rather loudly on repeat.
I’ve said it more than once, if I turn up dead.
The opossum is to blame.
He’s had it out for me since the punting.
On this particular morning, K bursts into our bedroom and shouts, “The trash can is possessed!”
Naturally, The Prince keeps getting ready while I’ve grabbed my camera and have leaped off the end of the bed like publishers clearing house was at my door. If in fact, I owned a possessed trash can, I was getting this craptastic display on film, thank you.
K charges out the front door to where the cheap-o plastic trash can was dancing along the brick, snarling and scratching.
“Careful if it sprouts teeth!” I call after her, like all incredible parents would.
“It’s one of those dead rat things!” She exclaims.
From the sound of the hissing, it was far from dead.
“A dead rat is possessed in the trash can?” I ask because that is totally logical.
“No. It looks like a rat. It plays dead. Like the small version thing that bit Wesley in the Thieves’ Forest,” K elaborates.
“Opossum?” I ask.
Communication is a team effort and requires having watched The Princess Bride enough times it should be a world record.
This poor pitiful little version of my larger opossum friend sat in the workshop trash can. He either fell from the tree or the roof.
Min tilted the can over in the yard.
It wouldn’t come out.
I slowly dumped the little furry out.
it waddled away
into another hedge.
The Handsome Prince asked how it went to which I expressed my shock that we had accidentally trapped a critter.
“It’s not like we live in the wild,” I tell him.
“Are you kidding? We all live in the wild right here. Think of it like we all collectively moved into a planned community in the wild’s backyard. The animals got pushed out so now they are taking their hedge back, one trash can at a time,” He replies.
He’s got a point.
I hope the big hateful opossum is giving me props for being kind to its kin and keeps all murderous plans to a minimum.
The kids rather enjoyed the opportunity to have a close view of it and true to who they are, not a one was frightened of it in the slightest. Not even when it “smiled with all of its teeth” at them.
It was interesting…
that was, until I started to think about things like rabies, attics full of rabid opossums, ceilings over our beds collapsing upon us in the night, from the weight of the rabid opossums and they attack.
There were no survivors.
On that note…
I’ve checked both sides of the attic, garage, all the screens, vents and roof.
The opossums have kept to the pact and stayed in their hedge… For the most part.
We can all sleep safer knowing that my anxiety has saved us from rabies.
Who needs to leave the house for entertainment, when we already live in the wild?
Wait a few minutes, something nutty is bound to get stirred up.