In Praise of the Possum

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.


8 responses to “In Praise of the Possum

  1. > All the previous possums I encountered were fried.

    OMG…lol! I presume you lived in the south when you ate possum?

    One time at work, there was a “critter” fest where I sampled snake (too bony) and squirrel and I’ve also had Bambi. For the most part, I don’t like it.. too “gamey” – lol! I did enjoy some boar I had at Ted’s Montana Grill and I do like bison burgers.

    Give me something more “natural” – like dried, salted, fried whole minnows…lol!

  2. Of course I lived in the South, spencercourt (it’s taking some time to get used to calling you that.) My previous posts as Fakename should have clued you in to the fact that my family was a founding member of Rednecks- “R”- Us 🙂
    Iowa was my one venture at living outside the South, and it was quite an eye-opening experience. Of course, before I lived there for two years, I had traveled a lot, but I’ll spare you the list of places I’d been in order to prove how sophisticated I am, a la Traci Taylor aka Molly Kagan. Whatever happened to her anyway? Looks like somebody finally wrestled her to the ground.

  3. Or more likely, drove a stake through her heart.

  4. My dad brought home a fried possum, head intact. Needless to say my brothers and sisters left the house immediately.

  5. I’ll have to parrot spencercourt here…OMG. The head? Were you just the last in line, fleeing the house behind your brothers and sisters? I’ll admit that I’ve eaten things (fish, shrimp, crawfish, crabs) with intact heads, but the eyeballs more or less unnerved me. And was your dad a founding member of the black chapter of Rednecks “R” Us?

  6. My blogger friends from TD can always call me Anarchist! It’ll be our special secret!

    But the head on that possukm too…? Has Andrew Zimmerman done a show on possum yet? I saw a woman on a similar show who refused to eat a whole fried guinea pig…. They gutted it, then sewed it back up before frying. It came out on its back with paws up and you could see the stitches along abdomen. Super yuk!

  7. loveandonlylove

    LOL! Hi Fake2, found you and the other TDO “runaways” (thanks, Anarchist!).

    Possum? Ithought this blog was about George Jones… lol

    Why did the chicken cross the road?
    To show the possum it could be done!

    Be well, Peace.

  8. Welcome, love!

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