Playing possum — A Sunday Read

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We’d like to make this a regular Sunday morning feature — an opportunity for local writers to share a little bit of prose — and maybe some poetry as well.

Submitted by Doris Flaxman

Some years ago in Panama …

The other night, Roxy, one of our little chickens, had a nightmare and came running to the house from the coop — which is quite far from the house — screaming.

She woke me up, so I went out to see what was wrong.  I picked her up and cuddled and kissed her till she quit shaking and when I tried to put her down she squawked and tried to stay in my arms.

When I tried to take her back to the coop, she just screamed.

So I brought her back to the deck, held her a little longer. Then I set her down, got a flashlight and checked the hen house.

The other chicks were fine and nothing appeared to be wrong.

So, even though poor Roxy was screaming, I put her back with the other two hens.

Thank goodness she settled down and I was able to go back to sleep.

The next morning, I told Pierre about Roxy and I thought he was going to get a hernia laughing so hard about the chicken nightmare.

But after Alex (our little dog) was acting strange, running around the outside with her nose in the air sniffing and barking at a drain pipe that leads to a ditch on our property, Pierre started thinking maybe it was more then a nightmare.

Checking the drain pipe, I found nothing and we left for the day.

When we came home, Alex ran back to the pipe so Pierre decided to flood it to flush out anything that might be in there.

Thinking it was just a snake we were going to catch it in a pail and release it somewhere away from our property.

Well, when what was in the drain pipe came out, I screamed and Pierre jumped. He had a shovel in his hands and smashed and killed the animal.

It was bigger then a rat, had a long snout and very vicious looking teeth.

(We later found out the animal was a possum.)

So, possums, apparently are docile creatures and not very dangerous, although when threatened, they often stand their ground and bare their teeth.

They have 50 sharp teeth — and they look intimidating.

Possums, you might have heard, “play dead” when they’re threatened.

Pierre apologized to Roxy for laughing at her.  She saved all their lives and was a hero.

As a reward she got an extra favorite worm.


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