Thursday, March 24, 2011

Playing Possum

Penny and I usually get to her school a few minutes before we need to be there. We usually sit in the car, listening to music and talking about random subjects, until it's time to head into the building.

This morning, I was checking the calendar on my phone for something when a movement caught my eye, and I looked up. And there, walking calmly down the grassy strip that separates the school parking lot from the main road, less than twenty feet from us, was an opossum. A big white one, around the size of a small dog (or a particularly large cat, like ours).

Opossums are nocturnal creatures; I've never seen one during the day except in zoos. I'm not sure I've ever seen one at all that was this big. It didn't seem particularly disturbed by the cars driving by; it just kept walking along in the grass, its tail held out stiff behind it.

Penny and I watched until it had gone too far to keep track of. I don't know where it went when it reached the end of the grass strip -- did it run across the road? Or was its home in one of the trees there? Penny speculated on whether it was a boy or girl. She theorized that it was out in the daytime (she'd known before I said anything that they were nocturnal) because it had forgotten to bring food for its babies. Not knowing any reason why a possum would be out in the daytime, I didn't try to argue with this theory.

It was, in all honesty, kind of cool.

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