Tuesday, March 4, 2014

R.I.P. O'possum

Nah...not really...R.I.P. in this case means Really Innovative Possum.   I'm beginning to think that possums have humongous IQs.  I mean they may be among the smartest animals on the planet.  Maybe the top of the smart chain among marsupials.  How else could you explain this possum's ability to outwit me for the past several days?

Take this morning for example.  We had barely finished the farm chores when Geri said, "It's probably about time for the possum to show up."  Of course, I'm the one who decides when it's about time for the possum to show up, so I took my time and sipped my coffee when all of a sudden...the possum shows up.  I can see him from the kitchen window as he saunters out of one barn and heads to the barn with the cat food buffet all laid out.

I moved quickly.  I had my .22 on the back porch so I grabbed it, slipped out the screen door (the possum at this point had paused and was catching sight of me out of the corner of his left eye), laid my coffee on the ground so it could get ice cold as I possum-stalked, and prepared to dispatch Mr. O to possum heaven post haste.

Well, he had other ideas.  He saw that big, dumb human heading his way, so he did a ninety-degree right hand turn and headed for the woods, the one place where he could be swallowed up and I wouldn't have a chance to get a good shot off.  But little did he know how quick I was with the .22, so I had it to my shoulder in a flash, froze him in my rear and front sights, and slowly squeezed the trigger.

Nothing.  Nada.  No trigger reaction.

I didn't have a shell in the chamber.  Now this is really a good thing in one way in that with a shell in the chamber, a trigger pull means a bullet is going to come out of the barrel with great velocity.  Which also means that it would be really easy to shoot yourself or someone else accidentally.  It's a bad thing to not have a bullet in the chamber if you've got one shot to hit what you're aiming at because by the time you pump the lever to get a shell in the chamber, your target, even if it's a fat, old, lumbering possum, moves.

He headed into the woods with me hot on his trail.  Determined to keep him in sight, me and my bad knee hobbled in his direction, climbed a fence, entered the woods, jumped a creek...

...and lost sight of him.

Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe not.  What's started to bug me is it's getting a little like Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny.  If the occasion eventually arises that I have a good clean shot at Mr. Possum, I may be too invested in his character to pull the trigger.  I may have anthropomorphized him to the point that I can't do in that rascally creature. I may find that I enjoy the pace of the chase more than the thrill of the kill.

We can hope that doesn't happen, can't we?

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