Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Playing 'Possum

It rained on Saturday. 
Wind, thunder, lightning, and finally,
Thank You, God!

We had almost a quarter of an inch of rain in our rain gauge.  It's a start, I'll take all I can get.  Later on in the day, in my orange Home Depot bucket (the one I use to catch rainwater) I found a quarter of an inch of rain and a small opossum ('possum - as they are known in my world). 

This is his sweet face, he snarled and hissed at me when I first discovered him. 
Maybe he decided to play nice when I left him to get the camera. 

I find myself reading more and more gardening blogs, it makes me happy to know that somewhere in the world life goes on and not everyone is living in excessive heat and extreme drought conditions.  Finding a baby anything is special these days because with the heat and dry weather we haven't had as many birds at the feeders and bird baths.  Fewer squirrels, too. It was good to see new life.  Even if he did have a "What is that smell?" smell about him.

He also tried to hide so I could not see him, but he had no place to go.
I wanted to help him even though he was trying to scare me so I went to ask my husband to come and take a look at our visitor (I guess I was thinking one native Texan would know what another native Texan needs?).  I also grabbed my camera and a broom (my weapon of choice - this was a wild animal).  My husband took one look at the poor little thing and assured me it would be okay, we just needed to help it out.  He took his rake and gently tipped over the bucket. Right about now I realized this could be trouble, my husband can run faster than me, if the 'possum decides to attack us, I'm done for.
My husband used a garden rake to tip over the bucket and it was dead! 

The second the bucket was on its side the little 'possum took a couple of steps forward and collapsed - eyes wide open.  I just knew that we had frightened it to death.  I was also ready to cry, how could this happen?  It was a small rake, my husband had gently tipped over the bucket.  (Please note:  I am still standing behind him for protection.)  He took a step towards the poor little creature and put the rake down on the ground just a few inches from its nose and (a Miracle) the little 'possum got up, shook itself off and crawled back into the bucket. 
I now understand the expression "playing 'possum.'

The joke was on me. I was sure we had killed him.  Nope, he was alive and well and slightly annoyed with us.   
As we walked away, he left the shelter of the bucket and went on his way.
If  Saturday's tricky visitor had been human I probably would have offered it a drink - Dirty Martini comes to mind. 

Here's my recipe: 

2 oz. Vodka
1 Tablespoon Dry Vermouth
2 Tablespoons juice from Martini Olives

Pour everything into a cocktail shaker, add as much ice as you can and still close lid.  Shake until top of shaker looks frosty.  Pour into chilled glass, add an olive or two. 


Repeat as necessary. 

Happy Tuesday.

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