Why Now?
Friday, November 26, 2004
  Marauding Marsupials

[ed: This is a generally true story inspired by a post over at the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, home of Steve Bates, doggerelist, musician, computer guy, and liberal.]

I got a panicked call at one in the morning from my Mother about 5 years ago. She wanted me to shoot the biggest "white rat" she had ever seen. The "rat" was eating from her dog's food dish in the kitchen.

After a routine response regarding firearms safety and the possible housekeeping consequences of discharging a shotgun in her kitchen [ed: You get really weird when people wake you up from a dead sleep.] I went over to her house and found a baby opossum chowing down on Kibbles and Bits by her refrigerator. My Mother's poodle was going berserk at this affront to his dignity and violation of his space.

As my Mother has ceramic tile floors I trapped the little fuzzball with a toilet plunger and slid him out the door. I fastened the hook on the screen door to back porch, the assumed point of entry because of a loose return spring, and went home.

Two nights later, another baby possum inside, this time Kelley was standing defiantly in front of his food dish, forcing the possum into the living room.

This time I got him to climb a broom handle and took him to a patch of brush well away from my Mother's house.

Things were back normal for a while, other than having to pull out my Mother's dryer to re-attach the vent hose. That's when I figured out that the young possum had managed to open the outside vent hatch and crawled in the hose which disconnected from the back of the dryer and gave him access to her house. I added a new exterior vent to my "to do" list [ed: A list that has included the return spring for that door for an extended period.] and went back to programming.

A week passed and he was back.

There on the rug by the outside door to the laundry room was fresh spoor. [ed: Spoor is "Hemingway" for possum poop.]

Mother wasn't interested in waiting out B'rer Possum, so an expedition was made ready.

With the able assistance of the keen nose of that Possum pooch nonpareil, Kelley [ed: A not-so-miniature apricot Poodle, who was bouncing off the walls because he knew the Kibble-napper was back.], I rapidly located the interloper. [ed: You walked right by him on your way out to the back porch, but caught sight of him on your return.]

The kilogram of Killing Machine was climbing a dust mop handle in preparation for plundering Kelley's back-up supply of Beggin' Strips hanging in a bag in the laundry room.

Quick action corralled the marauder and he was duly ejected from the premises. [ed: He fell into a bucket when you startled him and you took the bucket outside.]

The exterior feline patrol reacted instantly to the potential threat by taking up guard positions around the Marsupial of Mayhem. [ed: The flea-bitten slackers wandered over and sat down to watch him haul leaves into the bucket and make a nest.]

Having learned his lesson, the marauding marsupial never attacked again. [ed: You finally got off the stick and put a metal grill over the dryer vent, replaced the return spring, and the possum decided to dine at the feral cat feeding station.]


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