Thursday, January 8, 2009

Possum Tales

I’ve got possums on the brain, and piles of possum drawings all over my table.

I like irony, and it appeals to me to have a character that most people find kind of unappealing. Of course, I’m one of those strange types that actually think possums are cute. My character is named after a flower (pretty and sweet?). I found lots of pictures of baby possums – they are funny and scrappy-looking.


We have many possums here and they occasionally wander into our yard. We have rats, too – I’m also fond of them, but not necessarily when they’re scurrying around my back yard. So possums are a welcome sight. They help keep the rat population under control.


We had one possum take up residence under our back deck for awhile. We named him Gulliver, and his travels back and forth through our yard kept us amused for some time. He wasn’t very stealthy; his clumsy scaling up and over the fence woke us up every night. During the day we could see his grey coat through the cracks in the deck. One day Gulliver wandered off, on to his next travel adventure.


Later we had a skunk move into Gulliver’s spot under the deck. We named her Petunia. We decided it was pressing our luck to have a skunk in such close proximity to the house, so we decided to have her relocated. We called someone to set a trap in the back yard. The very first night, we heard a commotion in the yard. The trap had worked! I couldn’t believe it had been that easy.


In the morning I went to get a peek at Petunia. I snuck up as quietly as I could so I wouldn’t frighten her. However, the beady eyes peering back at me belonged to a fat possum. Where did he come from? And where was Petunia?


The second night brought success. Petunia was ready to be taken to a new home further inland. The only problem was our yard has no access except through the house. A sticky situation would soon become a stinky one if poor Petunia got spooked. So I instructed the kids, as Elmer Fudd would say, to be vewy, vewy, quiet as Petunia was escorted through our family room.


After that I put a large owl decoy on the fence to try to discourage any more critters from moving into the yard. My husband watched one night as a young possum walked along the fence right up to the plastic owl, gave it a swat that sent it soaring off the fence, and kept right on going.

18 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

Well...I'll agree with you that YOUR possum is cute :) And with names like Petunia and Gulliver, who wouldn't like them?

Rena said...

LOL @ the possum taking a swat at the owl decoy!

Kelly said...

You are brave to take Petunia through your home!!
I think possums are kind of cute!

Gottawrite Girl said...

I like possums, metoo metoo!! Very cute... and love the painting to the right, of the pink-dressed woman!

adrienne said...

Kim - Aw, you have to admit the babies are a little cute! But all those teeth are hard to love - I'll give you that much :)

Rena - That cracked me up, too! I just read that possums are smarter than dogs...they do seem pretty crafty.

Kelly - I think Petunia may have left a hint of her perfume, but not too bad!

Gottawrite Girl - Yay! Another possum fan! And thanks for the compliment.

ICQB said...

Oh how funny about the skunk and the owl!

I happen to think that some possums are very cute. We had one which traversed the top of our fence at 8:30 every moring for about a month.

And then there was one we found wandering around under the trees that border the park next door. She was so beautiful that we took a picture of her - she was a soft, creamy color.

And then there was the one which my daughter mistook for our cat in the dark and was about to pick it up until it hissed at her.

Your possum drawings in the previous post are adorable!

PJ Hoover said...

My possum hid in my garage. Yours sounds much better!

LW said...

I like possums.
I use to call my oldest daughter Possum Baby because she use to always hang on me, like a little possum baby…

Louise

adrienne said...

ICQB - A hissing possum in the dark sounds kinda scary! Not quite as lovable...

PJ - I'll bet a possum in the garage would be a nuisance! Way too many hiding places.

Louise - How cute! Did she hang upside down, too? :)

Bish Denham said...

Possums are cool. I know we have 'em around here but they are a rare sight. I've actually seen more porcupines than possums. Which is a worry because dogs get spined.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm with you on possums--and I don't care for rats in the least--or mice. Amazing that people always make them cute in movies and books when other critters are more appealing in nature.

sruble said...

Glad the skunk through the house wasn't a disaster ... but it would make a good story if it had been.

The possum and the plastic owl is hilarious!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Your possoms are cute. But have you ever seen a Hollywood possom? (That's a funny image. I just pictured a possom on the red carpet. Not what I meant.)

When I lived in Hollywood, we had the "Possoms from Chernobyl" in our backyard. And one night, while everybody hung out by the pool, one of the massive critters snuck in the backdoor. As everyone slept, he knocked over a bunch of plants, cleared our shelves of knick knacks and pooped in the bathtub.

It's hard to be a big possom fan after that. ; )

adrienne said...

Bish - Porcupines are very cool...and dogs are too curious for their own good!

Green Girl - I'm fortunate not to have dealt with rats and mice for the pests they can be...and I agree some wonderful critters have been overlooked in stories.

Sruble - I'd much rather imagine that story than live it :)

Susan - That story might not make me more of a fan, but it does make me laugh! It reminds me of the bands of rogue raccoons we have - now those guys scare me a little!

Alex said...

hahaha....loved this post...and the story of the skunk and owl. Your creativity is inpsiring! :)

3rdEyeMuse said...

you are most welcome to share your possum tales (and skunk ... and plastic owl ... and ... and ... and) anytime! thanks for the grins. :)

Alex said...

Hi Adrienne,

Check out my special post today for us artists! :D

Suzie said...

Wait apossums stink? Really?