Friday, March 02, 2007

Quando omni flunkus, moritati!

So, I let the dog out tend to her necessaries, and received quite a shock:

After uttering some incomprehensible sounds and ushering Chocolate back in the house, I tried to formulate a plan. What the heck was I going to do with a dead opossum? Gack! How did my dog manage to take down an opossum in the first place? Where's the blood? Gack! Sputter! More incomprehensible utterances!

The kidlet arrived at my side to see what my problem was. He looked at the varmint, and said, I think he's just playing possum.

Oh, said I, whilst smacking my forehead. Now it makes sense. That critter done fooled me! And, as if on cue, the opossum stopped grimacing and lifted its head:

So, naturally, I ran for my camera. When I opened the upstairs window, the possum kindly repeated its performance for us. While we waited for it to move along, my son told me all about opossums, their nocturnal nature, their prehensile tails, their diet, etc. Let's call that the serendipitous science lesson for the day. Aren't I lucky to have a such a knowledgeable teacher in the house?

After a few more minutes, the marsupial meandered away:

This critter has clearly tangled with a predator at some point, as their tails (prehensile!!!) are normally longer.

Turkeys and opossums, oh my! Just another day in the wild kingdom.

1 comment:

Val said...

Thanks for sharing this great learning experience! The photos really illustrate the situation well.

Two days ago, I had a similar experience, but the chipmunk was actually mortuus. He ran out in front of a car that was coming towards my car and, well, the 'other side' he reached was not next to the road. He was completely intact, so I thought he might have just fainted. Well, after about 5 minutes he didn't move, and I didn't want to leave him in the middle of the road, even if it would make it easier for the birds up the ladder of the food chain, so I got some restaurant napkins from the glove box and picked the little guy up and put him in the park that was his original destination.

Go towards the light, little buddy.