Hey, there! A Facebook friend of mine was asking for stories abut possums (yeah, I know, huh??) and I did happen to have one (again, huh??), so I shared it with her, and thought I would share it with you here as well.
I don’t know if you will be able to picture this in your head, but one night several years ago, in wintertime-the kind of weather we are having in Arkansas right now–highs in 40’s or low 50’s, lows in 20’s or 30’s…, we had let our dog out for her evening “constitutional”. We live just outside city limits in a woodsy area, and we see lots of different types of wildlife all year long.
Our dog is a big, beautiful, red hound dog named Junie B. Jones (’cause she’s not EVEN bad-that’s a former first-grade teacher reference right there-sorry if you don’t get it, but there’s always Google). I am guessing she is around four or five years old. The vet even complimented us on Junie’s beautiful red coat, and my husband confessed, “It’s the bacon grease…” Yep, could we sound any more country? She does eat dog food, but with table scraps mixed in and heated in the microwave. This is all my husband’s doing: “She likes it that way!” he says.
Anyway, she’s been outside for a while, and then suddenly, we hear begin to hear some outraged barking as we sit in the great room, watching TV. Coming from our dog. Now this dog is a lover, not a fighter, and she hangs pretty close to the house. Inside if possible. Think “Ferdinand” the bull-but that’s another first-grade teacher reference…One time, she was out in the yard (this was in the early morning) and she barked and took a few passive-aggressive steps toward a deer, and that deer turned and chased her all around the yard. This is the kind of dog that steals my heart.
At any rate, my husband and I recognize this fierce barking is not normal, so my husband gets up to look out the sliding glass doors to the deck and backyard. He flips on the outside light, takes a look, and lo and behold, the dog is barking furiously at a possum, who is sitting on the rail of the deck near a hanging bird feeder, and this possum hissing at Junie B.
You see, we feed the birds all year long, black oil sunflower seeds, suet, etc. We had put out some old bread and fruit on the rail of the deck for the birds, and there was this possum up there, enjoying it all!
So my husband, who is in his pajamas, goes and hunts up an old jacket and his 22 rifle (is a 22 a rifle?). He opens the sliding glass door, and shoots at the possum. He misses. You can’t wear reading glasses while shooting a gun, apparently. Now my husband is bald, wearing pajamas (size XL) with a large heavy coat on, shooting at this possum. Since he missed his first shot, he steps outside onto the deck and shoots again. Nope. Now the possum is looking at him like, “What? This food was just lying here!”
My good man is now getting irritated that he has shot twice and missed, so he goes to the edge of the upper deck (ours is a deck with two levels and steps going down to the lower level where the possum is) and shoots again. Misses. Finally, he goes down the steps to the possum level, and stands maybe three feet from the possum, who is still on the deck rail.
At this point, eye to eye with my husband, the possum decides this guy might possibly be a threat. So the animal kind of rears up and hisses at my husband, who pulls the trigger, and bam! (it was really more like a pop! being a 22 and all). The possum is hit and falls off the rail to the ground. My sharpshooter goes down the next set of steps to the ground, where the possum lies wounded. He finishes the possum off with a couple of more bullets. After that, I don’t know-I suppose nature took over.
Through it all, I have been inside, peering out the sliding glass doors, alternately gasping and laughing at this spectacle. My husband of thirty-three years comes inside, kind of sheepish, but announces, “I got him!” I just die laughing, and decide I am a blessed wife. I get to be married to Elmer Fudd.