On a crisp fall day last year, I opened the door of my former residence (Moathouse, so christened because a narrow moat ran along the front of the patio) midday to find a surprised opossum tottering along. Rather than playing dead, it tried to scurry quickly into the woods adjacent to the house. Unfortunately, top speed for a possum is still agonizingly slow. Had I wished to, I could easily have caught up to it and punted it into the forest. I didn’t. I just watched it go. In its haste to escape, it accidentally toppled sideways into the moat. Embarrassing.
The biggest problem with being a opossum seems to be that all you have available to convey your chubby, inflexible body from place to place are stubby little legs. Also, their eyes might as well be marbles.
The bottom of the dumpster outside my new apartment building has rusted through. There is a hole approximately 1 foot in diameter. Opossums and raccoons are grateful. They throw yogurt tops, used Kleenexes, scraps of paper, and torn plastic bags around in jubilation.
The facilities department occasionally sets traps to catch them (wouldn’t dream of replacing the dumpster). I never see raccoons in the traps. Always opossums. Slow, slow opossums.
As of yet, the traps have not managed to stem the tide of visitors to the garbage buffet.
These opossums, they are an argument against survival of the fittest. Despite their clumsy, awkward lumbering, the surrounding wood hosts a hydra-head worth of the furry creatures.
I like them. I’m going to start feeding them apples.
|Moathouse in winter.|