Is He Dead or Alive?

Snow is brilliant. It magnifies animal tracks. Glancing out the front window after two inches of snowfall, I saw numerous tracks. I investigated a hole under the edge of our porch similar to one we had two years ago.

Time again to set the trap! What will we find this time? Should I bait with meats to attract possums, or vegetables for rabbits? I decided on sardines in oil – more smell.


“What’s the dog barking about?” Dan yelled down from his upstairs office.

“Crystal wants to go outside?” I answered, assuming I knew her desire.

I let her out. Wait – she’s running around sniffing and listening.  What’s up with her? First a lot of barking, which is unusual, now her only interest is in going to the front of the house. I’m confused.

My brain slowly catches up as I say to her, “Let’s check the trap.”

Crystal helps me check the trap, which indeed has a possum. I think she likes checking the trap because of smells.

As we came back inside I called up to Dan, inviting him to join us in examining our uninvited tenant. “How did Crystal hear the Possum from inside the house?” we ask ourselves.

We pad out into the cold in stocking feet and PJs. Crystal, fascinated by the possum, stared up at us from the cage. Nothing dead about this one! It is 10:30 at night; we are ready for bed. I guess possums don’t play dead at night.

I couldn’t just leave him caged overnight in the cold, even if I did feed him dinner.

So off we went to find a place in the countryside to leave this little critter.

Unlike two previous occupants of that hole, he eagerly ran into the distance.

Maybe in a few days his mate will follow – assuming we again caught one half of a breeding pair – and she will also fall prey to some really good smelly sardines.

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