Saturday, October 22, 2011
The King and the Thing in the Wing
My husband heard a mysterious noise in the garage the other night. It emanated from one of the wings of the airplane he is building. Until then, dear husband's face had reflected the contentment of a quiet evening at home, where he rules as a benevolent but just king.
What was this thing in his wing, and how dare it be there?
Oh, thing! Have a care!
THE KING DECLARES WAR
The wings are stored overhead. They have "skin" on the outside, but the far end, the one that will be the wing tip, is wide open. Armed with a .22, the king drew a ladder to the wing root. He climbed up, grabbed the wing spar, a piece of metal that protrudes from that end, and shook the wing.
A furry critter scrabbled out the far end onto a rafter.
Pow! The king nailed the possum in the head just as it realized its life circumstances had grown perilous and it better make a break for it.
Despite the mortal wound to its brain pan, it leaped. . .
back inside the wing.
UTTER DISMAY contorted the king's face. "He's bleeding out in my wing!" he complained bitterly to me and Emma as we rushed in. (We had been banished from the garage, but we had pressed ourselves against the side entry door, where we, all a-tingle, watched the proceedings through the window.)
Now that we were inside, we could hear the varmint scratching out a frantic break dance inside the wing.
Ewwww! My stomach rebelled at this sound and somehow pulled on my tongue, causing me to have to swallow several times, which action caused my eyes to squeeze shut.
At last, all grew still. The prince was called to assist with the extraction of the deceased.
His assistance was not needed after all. The king, unbeknownst to me, managed to grab the possum's tail, and suddenly its bloody corpse, with eyes still bright, swung down into our midst.
Something about the way its body came swinging down overwhelmed my senses, and I gasped and had to turn away shivering. Emma comforted me.
The body was dispatched to the field morgue. Yesterday a team of winged medical examiners worked feverishly on the post mortem.
And so happily ends another possum tail in the Kingdom of Haught.