Now, before you run away gagging…let me just say that possum (or opossum to some of you) stew is one of the finer things in life. NOT! Ha. Gotcha! I can’t say that I’ve actually ever had possum stew, nor would I ever choose to do so. But here’s a good story and I had to lead up to it somehow…
The other evening whilst sitting on the couch I noticed a faint scratching noise that sounded like it was coming from the front windows in my living room. As I turned the volume down on the tv, sure enough, it WAS a scratching sound coming from underneath the windows. I looked outside but couldn’t see anything rustling in the bushes. I knocked on the window. Still nothing. So, because I am a big chicken and thought that it surely must be rat in my cellar (even though I have NEVER had a rat in my cellar), I went to bed without looking in the basement.
The next afternoon I heard the scratching again and because it was daylight, and knew the boogie monster wouldn’t get me if I went into the cellar at this time of day, I headed down with a flashlight. I went straight to where I had heard the noise the night before. You see, I have a set of basement windows right underneath the living room windows. These windows are ancient, dirty as hell and double paned. Not the double-paned as in the modern, two pieces of glass that are millimeters apart and make up one window - but two separate windows that have approximately 3-1/2″ of space between them.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Something gray…and hairy…and breathing! Gah! I almost ran away screaming but my curiosity got the best of me. I approached slowly with the flashlight and as I got closer I realized it was a baby possum. Phew! I could barely see in the widows as they are covered in dirt. Very clever how they installed them so there is absolutely NO way to clean them. Anyway, as I inspected further I could see that next to the little possum was what used to be his/her sibling. Splayed out. Dead. With flies crawling all over it.
I ran back upstairs fretting about what to do. My child got wind of my anxiousness and asked what was wrong. I had to tell her. And then she started crying, insisting that we had to “SAVE” him “NOW”. Great.
I grabbed a hammer and headed outside to see if I could somehow break the window open without killing the poor thing. No luck. That glass would not budge. I couldn’t really take a good whack at it as I was afraid the hammer would end up in the possum’s skull. So, I called my Dad and he came to the rescue with his expert glass-breaking technique. We coaxed the little fella out with cat food. It leaned out of the window just enough to gobble up the food. I’m sure it wouldn’t move any further because we were all standing around gawking at it. My child, of course, thought it was cute and wanted to keep it. It started to show its teeth when we moved closer. My first inclination was to whack it with something. Nice. I just save the poor, starving animal and now I want to kill it.
I have no idea how long it had been inbetween the windows. Long enough for two of his siblings to die. Yes, two! After he climbed out we saw that there was another dead baby – he had been sitting on it. Ick. So, now I have a broken basement window full of dead stank. I wonder how long it will take for the bodies to disintegrate, because I sure as hell am not going to touch that stuff! Can I interest anyone in some possum carcass for stew??