Saturday, August 26, 2017
R.I.P. Petey the Possum
"I have good news and bad news."
I said, "What's the good news"
He said,"I'm not going to have to trap Petey the Possum (that's living under an evergreen shrub in our yard) and rehome him to the forest across the river."
"Why Not?", I asked
"He's dead, Jim". (Yes I'm a huge Star Trek fan).
I went to check. Peter, indeed was laying as if well. . . playing possum by the dog dish water bowl that's in the unfenced part of the yard for the critters, as if he just laid down for a nap. Petey was by far the largest possum we'd ever seen around the neighborhood with an unusually long tail, so we knew it was him. There were no signs of injury, he was just deceased. He wasn't playing possum though - decomp had set it (that's something I know what to look for, Peter was just past rigor but not quite "I'm a fly motel" yet).
Technically he was in the adjoining neighbor's yard, but my husband let her know about Petey and assured her we would bury him downwind on our property. Having once been tasked on her own to remove a dead skunk from her garage, as an older widow, she was VERY happy to not have to wrangle another deaded forest creature. We have extraordinarily quiet and kind neighbors on both sides of us so we're happy to do this.
As the deep hole was dug, my husband said, "I think he was old or sick - the other night, he didn't even hiss at me and he was walking really slowly". I too had noticed he was out in the daytime just a day or two ago drinking a lot of water from the wild critter water bowl, not a normal sign for a nocturnal critter.
So Petey got a proper burial.
Of course, that threw the whole day's schedule off as we had an appointment at noon and our church picnic in the afternoon.
I said, "Well you don't expect a dead possum. . ."
To which my husband replied, in his best Monty Python Spanish Inquisition Voice. .
"NO ONE expects a dead possum!"
It went downhill from there as. . .
More Monty Python.
Husband: " That's no ordinary possum. That's the most foul, cruel and bad-tempered possum you ever set eyes on."
Me: "He's got huge sharp - eh - he can leap about --look at the bones!"
Husband: "I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little possum, isn't it? Well, it's always the same. I always tell them--"
Me, "Run Away! Run Away!"
Kidding aside, I'm glad Petey passed quietly and peacefully. He was sometimes cranky, but never got into the trash and kept the mice population down as well as the slugs and the insects that eat our plants. I know that Abby is going to miss chasing him out of the yard.