A small but serendipitous happening here has just come to a frightful end.
I’ve been dispossessed of my my pet possum. I am absolutely furious, breathing blood and guts and mouthing silent curses, spells and imprecations at every passing motorist.
It went thus- After a very wet spring one expected, nay, anticipated a vast invasion of the slimy slugs, munching their way through the vegetation and only stopping short of the siding on the house (if one is lucky)! Bastards big enough to put saddles on! Carefully inspecting my foliage every morning, mirabile dictu, no holes! Eh? What was going on? Not to look a gift horse in any orifice I just did not put down slug bait, I don’t like using it in case the birds eat it. Week after week passed and no holes, no slugs, no slimy trails.
A fortnight or so ago the dogs put up a great kerfuffle on their nocturnal pee break. Mad barking, leaping, squealing and general furore in the rhodies. For one dreadful moment I thought they had apprehended a skunk that lives chez nous. But no, a creature the size of a large cat with pointed white face and a magnificent set of gnashers emerges to do battle with all and sundry canines. Two dogs thought better of it and retreated leaving Gus the boy terrier to do battle but after a few preparatory swipes he too left it to its own devices. Thank God, out of hours Veterinary bills tend to always come in four figure numbers!!! I still had no idea what it was and as usual spousal unit was fast asleep in front of the TV.
Got the dogs back in the house and hit the internet. Discovered it was a possum, quite unusual here, they are prolific in the Eastern USA but not so much here in the West and this is their Northern limit. Hence my ignorance. Up till now I have only ever seen them dead on the roads, diminished by flattening! Unfortunately they are rather slow and thick, (like some others I know on two legs, lets not get explicit, you know who I mean!) and, being nocturnal, they get squashed at night by the peasantry in trucks. I think it is some kind of inexplicable national sport here (like basketball)! On further investigation of the life styles of the aforesaid beast I found that they particularly like a nice juicy slug for dinner.
Gentle readers, I fell in love, at first sight, a hideous catlike monster became ineffably attractive and a wonderful hero. I was about to adopt it as a relative! A fatwah against its destruction was issued to the canine contingent all diplomatic niceties to be extended, like dog food for ‘afters’ maybe? Unfortunately my slug free nirvana was abruptly terminated by some bloody logging peasant running my hero over right at the bottom of the drive! Bastards. There was no reason to do so. I live on a straight piece of road, they could have easily stopped, but they didn’t. The damned dogs wanted to eat it right on the yellow median. So we had to call animal control and have our hero unceremoniously removed out of temptation’s way.
I am so damned angry, the bloody hostas will look like doileys within a week, so a thousand curses and may camels shit in his sandals. And any other evil befall him.
Off to the Co-op to buy slug bait. I might be gone somewhile!