Monday, May 5, 2008

When Good Opossums Go Bad!!!

The photo above is a opossum...not the opossum that I am writing about, however.
THAT opossum is usually too clever to be caught out in the open.
However, he (or I suspect, a she) was caught off guard a few mornings ago.

My daughter was walking to her friend's house before school the other morning, which is only a few blocks away. It was about 6:30am and she was only one house away when she saw a opossum come out from a very large evergreen tree in the neighbor's yard. She is not normally afraid of opossums, but THIS particular opossum decided it didn't like my daughter right from the get go.

It growled in a nasally, high-pitched squeak/growl, mouth wide open, and came toward her. To make matters worse, as it came near her, it leaped into the air toward her.

Frightened out of her wits, my daughter let out a blood-curdling scream that received no response from either sleeping or deaf neighbors. Her automatic response to this leaping, snarling ball of fur was to give it a swift kick as it was in mid-air.

The opossum was caught mid chest and fell to the ground rolling backward while my daughter stood her ground (shaking). The opossum got back up on its feet and walked away from her across the street to the other side, looking back at her while walking, snarling/growling/squeaking at her the entire time.

Shaking and in tears, she continued on to her friend's house and recounted her terrifying tale. Both she and her friend concluded that they didn't like opossums from this day forward.

Prior to this encounter, my daughter, an avid animal lover, loved all living things, including the odd, furry, rat-faced, rat-tailed looking opossums. Not wishing for the entire population of opossoms to be forever on her "hit" list of things she hated just because of one, I explained that there was probably a good reason that this opossum acted the way it did. Perhaps it was a mother and felt that my daughter threatened her babies in some way.

My daughter shrugged and stated that this particular opossum "looked old, and messed up a bit, like it had been run over by a car a few times..."

Suddenly, this opossum was taking on a persona in my daughter's mind as possessed, crotchety, hateful, possibly demented or "Cujo-like".

Well, Cujo the Opossum hasn't reared its ugly head since that day...but neighbors beware! She could strike again!

I say, give Cujo a break, let her raise her kids in peace and give her wide berth next time around.


Sally said...

Funny story, Trish. Was it foaming at the mouth perhaps? :)