There is a possum that lives in the hedge in my backyard. I know, because I put him there. He used to live in my overgrown arbor. The day finally came when the arbor was leaning so far over to one side that it had to come down. And that is when we met ‘our’ possum. The gardener held him by the tail and asked me what to do with him. I told him please not to hurt the poor little guy. So we placed him in an empty five-gallon garden plant container, with him flapping his jaws like a barracuda, until the yard work was completed that day. Then we released him in the corner of the yard so he could find a new home in the hedge.
I know that he’s still around. It is not that I ever see him myself, but he leaves a few signs. A flash from the auto-sensor floodlight when he traipses across the patio; a half-eaten lemon every week or so; but my favorite trace is the empty snail shells. He is my very own personal furry organic snail exterminator.
Today, I really saw him again, and has he grown! It was early in the morning and as he sauntered down a garden path, I first mistook him for a cat, a white one with a black spot off-center on his back, until I saw that rat-like tail of his. He looked pretty exhausted from his work “on the night shift” as he disappeared into the carpet of crane-bill geraniums.
So, sleep tight, my possum, and keep up the fine garden caretaker work you are doing. Perhaps it is your way of saying “thank you” to me for sparing your life when the arbor had to go.