Playing Possum

You Can’t See Me ‘Cause I’m Invisible

When we pulled into the driveway it was dark, and as we got out of the car, I reminded the kids to take the garbage cans to the curb. Tory, grumbling a little, started for the wooden enclosure where the cans are kept. Max, quiet, trailed behind a ways.

 All of a sudden Tory let out a blood curdling shriek. I about fell in my tracks DOA on the way up the front porch steps. As I turned to see what scared her out so badly only a mere 10 feet from me, I saw Max skid to a halt behind her and well short of the garbage can surround.

 With trembling finger Tory pointed to the edge of the surround closest to the big holly trees. Following her finger I could just barely see the silhouette of an animal perched on the edge of the surround, frozen in place by her scream.

 Max, jaw agape, began to point too so Mike, ever so calm, walked up to see what all the screaming and finger pointing was about. Meanwhile, Tory kept chanting the same thing over and over and over again, just changing the syllable she emphasized each time: “Oh, my God. Oh my God. OHmyGod. OMG.” If she hadn’t been so freaked it would have been hysterically funny. Well, okay. It was hysterically funny anyway, poor kiddo. I about busted a gut laughing. 

No, you can't see me at all. Nope.

I flipped on the overhead lights and there it was: a medium-size opossum, frozen in mid-walk with its tail stretched straight out in back of it and its beady eyes watching us. We stared at it the opossum, and it stared back at us, clearly willing us to go away. As its tail got heavy (they are pretty thick looking) it started to droop. And just as quick, the opossum flicked it back in place, keeping up all appearances of being frozen in place. Our four sets of eyes all watched the tail   droop   then flick.

I imagine we would have stayed there staring for quite the while if not for Tory, who came out of her self-induced state of fear and bolted toward the front steps. Her movement kinda released the rest of us and we left the opossum to his or her own devices. I like to think it put its foot down as soon as we turned around and headed into the house.

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Filed under Animal Tales, opossum

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