Now, y'all, I love living out here and I grew up in the country, so I can legally call myself a "country girl", but can I share something with you? I don't like critters. I hate birds, and chickens scare the living daylights out of me. I am terrified of mice, a fact which makes my husband take great delight in chasing me around with a dead mouse on a trap when we have the misfortune of having a little rodent visitor. Our children have ZhuZhu pets because that is the only form of small rodent creature allowed in the house - the kind with mechanical guts. All others rodent intruders are subject to traps, poisons and if they get too close to me, death by drowning because I will pee my pants. I don't like holding baby chicks, cuddling with fuzzy kittens or feeding ducks at the pond. I'm definitely no Ellie Mae Clampett.
A few years ago I was outside on the carport late at night. A lot of times in the warmer months Mr. Nesbitt and I will go outside after the kids are in bed and just sit in the lawnchairs or on the swing and just enjoy being where we are. That particular night he didn't join me - probably because there was a COPS marathon on TV and who can resist that? The carport is on the end of the house and opens up to the front, side and backyard, so it really is a good place to sit and just enjoy the scenery. At the time we had a gigantic Chow/Lab mix named Jake, the most gigantic and gentle dog that ever existed. He would bark when someone drove up to warn us of possible danger or robbery, would bark when critters would wander about the yard to warn us of possible attack a la Animal Farm and would bark when the wind blew to warn us of impending uhm....windy-ness. He was fiercely protective of the kids and me and once tried to bite the septic tank guy because he smelled like well, septic tank and made a sudden move toward me and I guess Jake equated the smell of poo with danger and doom.
That summer night on the carport I was in a lawn chair with Jake at my side, both of us quiet and reflective (well, as reflective as a dog can be, I guess). The windows were open, there was a little breeze blowing, the frogs were chirping out by the pond, all was right with the world.....when suddenly Jake bristled next to me and let out a low growl. I was snapped from my rural reverie and looked around to see if it was impending burglary, animal takeover or .... wind.
It was a possum.
On the carport.
I immediately jumped up and hollered, "POSSUM!"
Now, I expected that with a cry as desperate as that, my brave husband would have heard my distress and come running. No such luck. Apparently the escapades of the characters evading police capture on the TV were so captivating he had blocked out everything else - including his wife and dog who were at risk of possum attack.
Again I hollered, "POSSUM! POSSUM! POSSSSUUUUMMMM!" and then I did what I had seen my Papa do back on the farm - I stomped my foot at the varmint and hissed. I guess the possums on Papa's farm were big ol' fraidy cats because they always ran when he did that. Oh, but not the ferocious furry beast on my carport that night. I can only assume that stomping and hissing is possum gangster talk for "Let's rumble, punk." He hissed back and moved TOWARD me.
The rather benign creature who had wandered onto the carport in search of dogfood went from looking like this:
to looking like this:
in mere seconds.And that's when I took off running. I headed toward the front of the house by way of the sidewalk, barefoot as the day I was born, ratty nightshirt flappin' in the wind, hollering, "POSSUM POSSUM POSSUM POSSUM!" the whole time.
Paul said he was sitting there in his recliner watching TV when suddenly he heard THUMP THUMP THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP followed by screams of POSSUM!, then saw me fly by the front picture window. Preceded by the dog.
He could hardly shoot the dang thing because he was laughing so hard at his not-so-brave country girl wife and less courageous dog.
We've only had one other possum wander onto the carport since that night and the only reason I can figure why is that the phrase "Let's rumble, punk," by way of a stomp and a hiss, followed by the blast of a shotgun means I am one truly effective rural gangster. Word.