Alert readers will note that I finally figured out how to exchange that silly geometric thingy for an avatar of my choice, which in this case, is a basket full of baby possums. That would be “opossums” for you technically correct people out there, who must not be from the South. But, can there be anything cuter?
I got my first glimpse of a live possum at around age 47 while living in Iowa, only I didn’t know what it was. All the previous possums I encountered were fried. But there I am in Iowa, glancing out the window into the back yard, and there is this prehistoric creature lumbering across the yard. It turns out it was headed for the shed in the back yard of my next door neighbor, where some other critter had conveniently dug a hole under the floor.
I didn’t have a computer at home at the time, so I raced to the phone and called my sister, giving her a blow by blow description of the creature’s appearance, and she confidently informed me it was a possum. She also told me to avoid it, since possums are nocturnal, and the fact that it was out and about during the day might indicate it was rabid.
My next close encounter was with two babies that my neighbor was tending. She’s a certified wildlife rehabilitator, and these two little guys were orphans. I got to help feed them, and despite being warned, one of them managed to sink its little teeth into my finger. Possum factoid: they have more teeth than any other land mammal. Also, they hissed at each other mightily while scrambling for the food. Well, “mightily” is a bit of an exaggeration. They were too little to manage more than an itsy bitsy hiss.
As for the fried variety, I can say that they taste better than squirrels or rabbits. I only know this because I was forced to eat a bite as a child. It was a parental rule. Whatever is put on the table, you will at least sample it. Although I’d never seen one in person, I knew that it was small and furry and lived in the woods, and even then I was completely opposed to eating small furry things. Then, as now, I prefer my meat to come in a package from the grocery store, isolated from its component parts, so that I can pretend it didn’t breathe at one time.