An absolutely beautiful morning. 9:30 A.M., Wednesday, August 30, 2017. Mostly sunny, slightly breezy, seventy odd degrees.
And here I sit, inside at Big House’s dining room table, pecking on my computer, trying to write a column the Examiner’s editors want in hand by Friday morning early. No good topics in mind, no serious subjects under bubbling pressure to get out, so, what do I do?
How about if I tell you about the possum. Properly, the Opossum, I guess.
Last Monday morning, close to 5:30, I returned from McDonalds with my morning medium coffee, black. I paused at back door of my little van to retrieve a sack of fresh tomatoes I’d brought for staff from the farm, evening before. Tomatoes hung over my finger, coffee in same hand, I stepped up to Examiner’s back door, inserted key and caught movement out of the corner of my eye.
There it sat, looking at me. Middle of a table partly loaded with preprint inserts (circulars) destined for insertion into Examiner next day. As I entered, possum whirled, climbed up over a stack of papers, over the back shop microwave, knocked one of Peggy Wratchford’s decorative displays all out of whack and dived behind back shop furnace.
[private] Back shop pretty much belongs to Peggy. It’s a big part of her world. She decorates and maintains it to suit herself. Nobody messes with it without her say so.
OK. There’s a possum in the house, What do we do about that? How best to get him out before folks came to work? I set tomatoes on another table, harder for Possum to reach, then opened back door wide thinking I might run possum outside.
I bashed around a little, hollered some, finally got him to move. He stopped and hunkered down behind the microwave, eyes peering around the corner. I pushed the oven over to pinch his butt a little and got “CKHKHKH” (possum hiss) for my trouble. OK. Going to be contrary about moving. I’m not interested in rabies shots due to a possum bite. I left him alone with back door open while I went to fix my breakfast.
Peg comes to work about 7:30. I was there to meet her with the news. As I came in I’d seen possum run across the floor behind a bunch of stuff too much of a bother to move so early before mailing the paper. Possum stayed all day. We’d found he’d discovered an uncovered garbage/trash can with very little in it, but perhaps enough to give him a bite.
Monday night, two live traps. Got them from Sis, who’d bought them to help with skunk and rabbit problems around her place. Coffee time, Tuesday morning, there possum sat middle of same table where I’d seen him first time. I went in wondering why he hadn’t fallen for the old stinky canned salmon I’d baited traps with. One trap sprung empty. Other larger trap untouched far as I could tell. Reset smaller trap, left door open and went for breakfast.
Back to the Examiner after my breakfast, there sat big trap outside. Peg had arrived, found an old stray cat in the trap and left it for me to dispose of. Cat had entered while I ate breakfast. But then no more sign of possum. When I opened trap at back of our yard above Town Run Road, cat hit ninety seven miles per hour instantly. It’ll likely be back since I think it’s the one that lives under the deck outside Phoebe’s bedroom windows.
Following Examiner delivery and mailing yesterday afternoon, I left for Big House and farm. I haven’t had a possum update since I left. Afraid to call and ask. But if that darn thing is still there and if he tears up tonight’s trash gather before pickup Thursday morning, his life is going to get drastic. Maybe Hannah’s three dogs can help. Maybe I’ll give you a one paragraph possum update next week.
All this after the snake Peg whacked and boxed mid summer in that same back shop. But that’s another story.