I ask you, is this the face of a killer?
Under normal circumstances I certainly would not say so. Emma P. is a gentle, sweet soul. But sometimes genetics win out and terriers will be terriers. Rodents (defined by Webster’s as: a gnawing mammal of an order that includes rats, mice, squirrels, hamsters, porcupines, and their relatives, distinguished by strong constantly growing incisors and no canine teeth) are #1 on a terrier’s own version of America’s Most Wanted. The dictionary left the opossum off the list but they are, in fact, a member of the Order Rodentia.
This is a picture of a young possum in case you have never seen one.
I live in an urban neighborhood but we have lots of critters: raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks…and possums.
A clan of possums has lived underneath the Playhouse for generations. They were residents long before we moved in in 1995. They don’t bother me and I don’t bother them.
But that was before Miss Buttercup came to live here 4 1/2 years ago. Clearly she sees it as her duty to rid her little universe of Mr. and Mrs. O’Possum and all their kin.
So far she has been fairly unsuccessful in her quest. To my great relief. I do not enjoy disposing of their remains. A few springs ago, there was a week when I found not one, but two dead youngsters in two different fountains. Ick.
Anyway, quite late the other night I was lounging on the settee in the Garden Room, listening to music, with a glass of a delish Albarino in my hand. It was Friday night and I had every intention of staying up late because I could sleep late the next morning. Yippee.
Miss Buttercup wanted to go out. Fantastic. I would not have to bribe her to go out for her little tinkle before bedtime. Life was good.
But my peace was shattered when the quiet night air was rent with barking. The I’ve-got-something-cornered kind of barking with lots of growling thrown in for good measure. Oh, Jeez, now I have to get up, go find something to put on my feet and see what’s up outside directly under the window in the Black Garden. It is called the Black Garden because there are several black pots in it as well as a black Foo Dog (Mr. Foofy to you). Plus it is in deep, dark shade.
As I feared, she had a possum (a young one by the looks of it) in her sights over on the left here. It was hissing and EPB was darting into the bushes where I could not see her. I followed the action only because I could watch the boxwoods and azaleas moving as the confrontation progressed. No amount of calling was going to keep Emma from doing her duty.
Eventually, I went back inside and hoped for the best. A few minutes later, the din stopped – suddenly.
I found this quite ominous. I was pretty sure that this had not ended well for Mr. or Ms. O’P.
After a bit, Emma came to the door and wanted in. I went back to trying to enjoy myself knowing that the following morning I would have to deal with a dead body.
Next morning, we went for our walkies as usual and, frankly, I just did not feel like combing the bushes for the poor possum so I didn’t. I figured in the next couple of days my nose would tell the tale. Or even worse, Emma P. would roll all over the stinky corpse. And I would know the outcome for sure.
But guess what? Here we are a few days later, in the heat and humidity, and I have not caught the slightest whiff of “eau de dead.” Perhaps the little possum lives to waddle another day. Yippee!
All is good.