Even a Possum Needs Love Dave Daly AKA:
Most people don’t realize that Al Qaeda modeled their
terrorist suicide bomber training camps after the opossum training camps deep
The possums gang up at night waiting for a car to come speeding down the road. One opossum will be elected to volunteer for the mission. Just as the car approaches and with the stopping distance gone, the possum will dash into the headlights hoping the oncoming car will swerve and crash into a tree. If successful, the rest of the gang will dash out and attack the vehicles driver and loot any food in the car.
If unsuccessful… well…. then there are possum guts and blood everywhere. The others go back to terrorist camp and work on new ways to scare the crap out of drivers.
Below is a picture I grabbed off the internet for those of you who haven’t seen a possum up close. This picture is better than any of mine.
A face only a mother could love!
One bright sunny morning we were walking along the shoulder
of Tamiami Trail (Hwy 41) in the middle of
One of the guys spotted movement in the opossum and used a stick to investigate. In the mother’s pouch he found three tiny babies, pinkies’ as we would call baby mice or rats that had no hair and eyes were still closed (snake food).
The opossum is the only marsupial in
Just thirteen days after the adult opossums mate the underdeveloped opossum babies make their way from the birth canal to the pouch. The eyes are not yet developed and the mouth is just a small hole. It is a miracle that the little pink things have the muscle power and navigation skills to locate the pouch. Once protected within momma’s pouch the pinkies will develop into juveniles and venture into the world yet still returning to the safety of the mother.
So we had discovered three babies and now what should we do?
We could leave them for the vultures or try to rescue them. I put the three
little pink things in my shirt pocket. Once back in
School would be a problem. Teachers forced me to sit in the front of every class; something about me being disruptive. I hollowed out a text book and poked holes in the cover for air. Inside the book I make a nice nest. The secret of my “Motherhood” did not last long. First day back to class I sat in the very back with empty seats between me and any students. This caught the attention of each teacher and I was compelled to reveal my secret.
Surprisingly the teachers showed me compassion or perhaps the compassion was for the little ones. They were so nice to me- nothing like the time I turned a large tarantula loose in Algebra class, I hated algebra!
After a few weeks one of the babies died but the other two continued to flourish. Soon the feedings dropped from every three hours to just a few times a day. Opossums are such messy eaters. I would feed them outside. After spreading newspapers on the patio I’d set down the bowl of food. Faces stuck into the bowl gobbling food in one end and pooping out the other. When they had finished I’d roll up the papers and discard then I’d wash their feet.
These pictures are old 35mm slides that survived a flood in
Possums hitting the bottle
Opossums just don’t make pets like a dog or cat. They don’t play “fetch” and can’t be taught to “shake hands”. I did get mine to learn to “roll over and play dead” but I had to scare the crap out of them in order to do the trick!
The babies did want love and attention but they wanted it possum style; no licking, no noise, all they wanted was to hide their head and be petted or just crawl all over me. They loved riding in my shirt pocket, standing up with just their heads peaking out watching the world.
It’s not a good idea to let a possum loose in the house. They may appear slow and clumsy but can dart under furniture making capture almost impossible. They wouldn’t come to me in the house unless hungry. One evening Possum Pete was hiding inside the back of the living room couch when a friend came over, she had never met Pete. Apparently Pete felt the pressure of her body against the back of the couch and he decided to go elsewhere. He darted out of the couch and headed across the living floor trying to make his way to the kitchen.
As usual, there was screaming and the visitor ran from the house. Several days later word came back that my house was infested with wharf rats. Go figure! Some people are so stupid.
With a dog you can get clues about the emotional state. Dogs seem to smile and do wag their tails. Not so with possums. Even when happy their mouths would be open with teeth showing. And then there was the ever present drooling. The next picture is a recent shot of a possum caught in my backyard. I think he is happy- what do you think??
Happy or unhappy??
One day while playing in the back yard the female darted off and disappeared in a thick hedge never to be seen again. The male, Pete, (you know- Peter Possum), missed his sister and began paying more attention to me. He’d waddle across the yard and climb up my pants, then my shirt, climbing all the way to the top of my head. Daniel Boone wore a dead raccoon on his head- I, on the other hand, wore a live possum!
Dave and Pete playing
When Pete became fully grown it was time to turn him loose. I took him back to near where I found his mother and hiked deep into the swamp with him riding on my shoulder. After placing him in a safe place I said my good-byes. I miss that furry thing. Rescued from his dead mother’s pouch, bottle fed, hand fed, and loved. It’s hard not to get attached even to a possum.
Perhaps its’ because of all the animals I’ve raised or rescued; rats, possums, snakes, raccoons, Screech Owls, Barred Owls, hawks, turtles, and on and on. Whenever I’m out in the woods or swamp animals come to visit. Some come right up to me and others keep a distance but they still come to say hello.
Peter Possum going home
Just for fun go to the link below and watch all three episodes of “The Possum Death Spree.” Hold the control key down and then click on the link or just paste the address into your browser.