Not “Playing” Possum Anymore

, , , , , | Related | July 8, 2018

(When I was a child, we lived in a suburban neighborhood with older houses built close together. One year, my mother gets “puppy fever” and adopts a German Shepherd. She and the dog bond instantly, and she becomes overprotective of him. That same year, a family of opossums moves into our backyard. When our dog is outside, the opossums sit on the back fence and hiss at him. They are too high up for him to reach, so he angrily barks at them. My mother becomes enraged, as well, that the opossums are taunting her “baby,” and tries to chase them off with a broom, but each night they return. One night, we hear the dog begin to bark at the fence, and Mother jumps to her feet, yelling, “That’s it!” As we watch in horror, she retrieves my father’s shotgun from the closet, marches outside, and begins shooting at the back fence. Having little experience with guns, she misses the opossums completely, but does manage to hit the neighbor’s garage.)

Neighbor: *running outside* “Oh, my God! What’s wrong?”

Mom: “Mind your own business!”

(My mother passed away in May of this year. My brother and I shared this story at her funeral: she was incorrigible to the end, and we think she would have approved.)

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