The weather promised rain through the night and into Saturday.Â The air felt damp and cold, like a sweatshirt that hasnâ€™t quite dried out after a hard sweat.Â Feeling a need to hunker down and bring on an extra dose of comfie, my husband and I poured some wine, curled up on the couch, and popped in a DVD.Â Â We were both in pajama modeâ€¦at least our version of pajamas.
Around ten p.m. our dog Booker started barking.Â He almost never, ever, barks.Â Curious, I looked out our back door and saw him vacillating between being freaked out, cowering, and bouncing towards the chain-link fence and barking.
The porch light refused to shed enough illumination to see whatever was near the fence that was catching Booker’s attention, so I popped back inside and grabbed the binoculars I keep for bird viewing.
Meanwhile, my husband said he was going outside to check things out for himself.Â Picture thisâ€”a man in his boxers, tennis shoes, and a winter coat going into battle.Â Interesting, eh? Mmmmhmmm.
I had a hard time honing in on whatever was irritating Booker because he kept jumping right into my line of vision.Â I could have gone outside too, but what if it was something creepy?Â I wasnâ€™t wearing my big-boy boxers.
After several attempts at focusing the binoculars they zeroed on in the beast. Â What appeared in the binocular lens literally made me recoil.Â â€œWhat the heck!?,Â I muttered and looked again.Â A pointy white face, beady eyes, and a mouth frozen in a toothy grin filled the glass.Â It looked HUGE through the binoculars, and I had to remind myself that it wasnâ€™t as big as it appeared. Or was it?
I heard my husband slipping around the corner of the house, and I yelled out, â€œItâ€™s a possumâ€¦I think! Be careful, he might be cranky.â€Â My husband yelled back that he saw the thing and that it seemed unusually large for a possum.Â Great.
Now I normally try to find something to love in all of Godâ€™s creatures, but this one was butt-ugly.Â Add to that the fact that Iâ€™m not used to having possums in Minnesota.Â They are NOT supposed to be here.Â (One Google report said they were first spotted in the Twin Cities in the mid 1990s.)
It’s a southern state thing, right? Â I mean, Granny, the beloved matriarch on the Beverly Hillbillyâ€™s show would make possum stew, so I always assumed southern folks and possums were like peanut butter and jelly. Â But to me they are foreign little beasts and bizarrely weird in appearance, smell, and behavior. (Kind of like that cousin nobody likes to invite to family gatherings, but I digress.)
My husband decided heâ€™d â€œhelpâ€ the possum move on and started throwing shovels full of snow at the thing.Â The possum seemed insulted at this rude conduct, but didnâ€™t move.Â Then my husband started tossing empty tin cans from our recycling bin at it.Â Again, the possum seemed unfazed and stayed put.Â (Maybe the possum simply couldnâ€™t take a man in his boxer shorts as a serious threat.Â I mean, even I found the sight amusing.)
Nonetheless, I kept telling my husband to be careful. Why? Â I guess in my mind the strangely acting possum would rise up on its two hind legs and become a little grizzly bear. Hey! I told you I’m not used to possums.
â€œIs it growling at you?â€ I yelled.
My husband paused mid can-blitz and considered the question.
â€œNoooo.Â Itâ€™s showing its teeth, but seems to be emotionally uninvolved.â€
Call me callous.Â Call me uncaring in the face of danger.Â But as my husband, clad in boxer shorts, fought off the great and cunning possum, and after making that statement, I got the giggles and had to turn away.
Eventually, my husband gave up on moving the possum and decided to move Booker. Â The possum, weary of our shenanigans, waddled off into the woods. Â Huh. He, or she, seemed emotionally uninvolved after all.