the doodles scared a possom "to death"

I swear I do not live in the country! I live in a suburb very near the center of my town. It’s not a huge town, but it’s definitely not the country! And it’s far more developed than the subdivision I moved from a year ago – maybe that’s the problem. There was more room for the wildlife to be out in the woods. But I have seen more possums in the yard since I moved here than ever before – in fact I’m sure that I never got up close and personal with one until we moved here.  But the dogs and I have had several wildlife events since then. And I’m glad Katie just likes to bark at them and not engage them, because they scare me more than a little.

So tonight I let the girls out and Ava was fine but Katie was barking. And sometimes she barks at some imaginary thing she sees. But tonight she wouldn’t come back for her treat. So I turned on the flashlight on my phone to go see what she was doing, and there was a possum just lying there. I made the girls come inside and went out with a flashlight to investigate while dialing to summon my dad to come do something. I can be independent when it comes to birds, mice, even moles. But something the size of a possum… I admit it. I need a man to come take care of it for me. Of course my parents were on their way somewhere and not available to come assist at that very moment.

And then I swear I saw it move. Maybe. Or maybe I watch way too many horror movies. But I am certain that as I move the opossum is watching me. And I saw it’s ear twitch. And it’s definitely a zombie opossum and we’re all going to die! And maybe I should whack it over the head with the shovel that I’m clutching. Except that this creepy thing is an animal. And even if it is a zombie and it’s going to rip my face off as soon as I think about turning my back on it, I don’t think I can hurt it.

And that’s when my mother in all her wisdom (who was still virtually holding my hand through the phone) suggests that the possum is playing possum.  And I’m like, really? No. That’s just a saying. But I googled it, and sure enough – when they get scared they get shocky and go into a comatose state that can last for 40 minutes to 4 hours!

There are so many things in this world that I don’t know. Don’t even get me started on this whole conversation I had about how cows give birth. But in the meantime there is an unconscious possum in my back yard. And I really wish it would go back to anywhere else. I’m sure there are plenty of yards that don’t have curious dogs where the possum can do their own little possum-y thing in peace.

I’m thinking maybe No Possum signs along the fence. I’m sure the zombie possum and all of his brethren can read. In the meantime the dogs are housebound until their little buddy comes to and finds his way out of the back yard.


Adulting is so hard! 

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  • Stacy, I once had a rabbit we called Stewpid in our yard. I wrote this back in 2012. I feel the same way you do. I do know Fudge has killed other animals, but I have to overlook it in order to live with her :)

  • Laurie - I haven't seen him since that night! I hope he's gone. I read that they are nomadic (excpet when a mom with babies camps out in your attic!) and that they normally don't stick around for long. I wonder, during the occasions that we have encountered them, if it's a different possum each time. I also read that they aren't very smart, so maybe it is the same one and he hasn't read the memo that this is not a possum friendly yard.

    There was a dead animal of some sort in the yard this week. I'm not sure what the circumstances were. And I'm tyring not to think about it... I saw blood. And maybe a little something else, but nothing identifiable. I don't like to think that my dogs killed it - and then ate it. I always go out with them, but I admit I'm not always watching them every single second. I sit in the screen porch and sometimes I get distracted with my phone. I mean, they are fenced in. There was never a big kerfluffle. I would have noticed that. But they do chase the squirrels endlessly. I love the squirrels. I hate the thought that they may have caught one. And I hate the thought that they came in and gave me kisses afterwards! I love nature, but part of me wishes the whole back yard was one giant enclosed cement pen. That sort of stuff is a little too National Geographic for me. 

  • Maryann, Loved your story!

    F, You and your dead animal pictures :) LOL Calla and Luca are being framed.

  • Is he gone? LOL This happened at our old house too, although Vern shook the possum in his mouth. Unfortunately, the possum went to the bathroom all over Vern while he was being shook. What a mess. I thought Vern had killed him, but when I checked on him later, he was gone. Good luck. I hope the sign works.

  • ROTFL. I hope your possum has moved out and far away by now!                           

  • Maryanne, Your story was so great. Thank you for telling it here. I'm just picturing the chaos of diverse purposes!
  • I'm sorry for the rest of you who have also had encounters of the possum type! Luckily my guys don't seem to be into killing things - I would have a very hard time with that. Katie brought me live baby starlings this summer, like I was supposed to be able to fix them. I tried, but... 

    These things always seem to happen when no one is available to fix it for us! My car always breaks down when my family goes out of town too!

  • I had a golden retriever who rescued a tiny baby possum from our pool and then guarded it from our husky ( who would have shaken it and broken its neck) barking like a maniac until I came out.  Now how am supposed to rescue a baby possum who is "playing possum", soaking wet and cold from a huskie who is intent on saving me from the possum, a golden who is saving the possum for reasons known only to her ( I think because it was so small and she took her pool life guard job very seriously)?  Eventually I was able to drag the huskie in the house and then bribe the golden in the house with a treat.  Eventually the baby was not there.  Adulting is sometimes very hard!  And why does it always happen when husband is not home?

  • Well, our recent possum was well and truly dead. And he was by far not the largest prey of the doodles.


  • Adulting is so hard! Possum. UGH! Zombie, dead, playing dead...gross any way you put it. Sorry you and the doodles have to deal with this.


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