Possum in a Peach Tree
Spring-time is coming. Several of our neighbors’ daffodils are blooming already, the Japanese magnolias are starting to bloom, and our peach tree is also starting to take off.
This past September, we were woken one morning by our dog Lox (she is a red mini-dachshund) barking over and over again. Once you have dogs for a while, you can tell from their barking what is going on. There is the “I hear something, so I’m going to do a little short barking so you know there’s a dog around here”, there is the “I see somebody or something so I’m going to bark-bark and let them know that I’m over here”, and there’s the “something is really exciting me and I’m just going to bark my head off”. The last times she has had those episodes, something really was going on – twice there was a snake in the yard, one time a snake bit Bagel’s nose, and this time there was a possum in our peach tree.
We couldn’t immediately see what was going on, so we went out in the back yard and there he was, just very calmly sitting on a limb. Growing up in a small town, I had already had a couple of possum encounters (including one eating our cat’s food in the backyard), but Av hasn’t. So I told him to come see, take some pictures, but if the possum starts hissing to high-tail it back inside the house. Possums are pretty much like most other wild animals – they would rather take off than have to deal with a human – but if he were to get agitated and start hissing, it would be best to take off.
My PawPaw z”l used to tell me possum stories, like if one bites you, they bite and don’t let go. He also said that when he was a boy growing up in Attalla, that his family would occasionally catch a possum, put it under a tub, feed him for a week to fatten him up, and then cook him. PawPaw said that he wouldn’t eat possum but that everybody else did.
BTW, the way to cook (a cleaned) possum is to put it in a roasting pan at 350* for about an hour along with sweet potatoes.
Thankfully, our possum was off in a couple of hours after a delicious meal of past-prime peaches.