The Day Mr. Possum Played Dead

April 5, 2011  

By Ruby the dog, as told to Patrick Bettendorf

Ruby was originally found in an abandoned house, and the story of how she went from there to become a real theatrical star is told here. Now she updates us on her monthly activities.

It had been just another typical day….running errands in the car with my dad, the usual stuff…now, at last we were turning into our driveway.

I always like to come home ’cause we have a pretty big yard for such a small house. It’s almost an acre, all fenced in where my furry brother and sisters and I can “tear it up” playing with our Jolly Ball or have fun chasing the occasional errant rabbit or squirrel that dare enter our yard. Heck, we don’t even like to have them in our trees. Those are our trees! And those are our apples, acorns and pine cones! Keep away! Ooooh, I’m always excited to pull into the garage, ’cause I like to leap out of the car, slip through the side door leading to our yard and race around to sniff out who or what has passed by.

But today, blasting into my little kingdom, I immediately screeched to a stop! About two feet ahead was the ugliest, scariest looking animal I had ever seen. And he was staring back at me! He didn’t move…I couldn’t move. We stood there eying each other for the longest time. My dad would later say it looked like a scene from one of those “spaghetti westerns.” All that was missing was the music.

Suddenly, this creature started to wobble and then fell over dead! Least I thought he was dead. Dad said he was a possum, and that this is what they do sometimes when great danger is nearby, but he had never actually seen it happen before. Stretching my neck far as possible, I tried to carefully sniff him over when Dad took my by the collar and back into the house I went. Hmph!

I could see Mom and Dad talking over what to do to make sure Mr. Possum stayed safe. Mom retrieved a box, Dad a shovel. Carefully scooping up the fierce looking creature, he gently placed the ugly thing inside the cardboard transporter for the very short trip to a nearby state park. They thought the park would be the safest place to drop it off. Still very curious about our new passenger, I guess I sniffed too loudly, ’cause Mom was worried the thing might wake up, and that would be very bad.

Stopping at the guard shack Dad ran in to tell the friendly Ranger what we were up to. Still friendly, he told my Dad dropping off wild animals isn’t allowed…but then paused. Thinking it over he said, “Okay, we didn’t have this conversation and I don’t know a thing.” Deep into the park we drove, with me keeping a study eye on the box. We found a good spot where there were open fields on one side and a thick forest on the other. Dad swept up the box and place it about a hundred feet away, tipping it gingerly on its side. Then we waited, waited and waited some more. It seem like forever when finally Mr. “P” ambled out of his container and off into the deep woods. A happy ending for everyone! Dad gave me a couple of biscuits and told me I was a good girl. Now it was time to go home for a well-deserved nap.

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One Response to “The Day Mr. Possum Played Dead”
  1. Iluvmypibble says:

    I love reading your stories Pat! I can’t wait to order the book this week, a signed paw printed copy 🙂