|A used possum popper|
Because I can't think of another hobby for my menfolk that offers the excitement, variety, fun, and satisfaction that hunting and killing possums offers. It's wonderfully economical too! They can do it right here at home, and it usually takes less than 20 minutes. When they come back inside, their chests are expanded; they are grinning happily, and they have a definite bounce in their steps. They regale me with the details of the hunt, opening wide the lid on their secret cache of words that they normally reserve for talk between themselves about SEC football.
Usually, it is a surprise sighting that sets the game in motion. One night as we were driving up the driveway about 11:00, my husband spotted a possum lighting out across the hayfield. Herb tossed a flashlight to Nathaniel, and Nathaniel didn't need to ask questions. He leapt from the moving vehicle and pursued the varmint on foot. Herb followed, bumping along through the tall grass, which switched the sides of the car angrily as Herb tried to zig when Nathaniel zigged and zag, when Nathaniel zagged. I watched our headlights cut through the darkness and sweep crazily from side-to-side, briefly illuminating our next door neighbors' bedroom windows. Two or three times. Oops. That was the possum that got away, but he still did the menfolk a right smart o' good. They were PUMPED when we finally returned to the driveway and parked the car at the house. Emma and I were just slightly overwhelmed and a wee bit nauseous, but we recovered.
Recently Herb actually sat in a rocking chair on the front porch and waited for one to show up and make his day, er, night. It did. And he was so happy! He described the whole scene to me the next morning before instructing me that if I went out the front door and turned to the left, not to be scared when I saw the dead possum, perfectly rigid in its last agony. Wasn't that sweet of my dear husband? He is always looking out for me that way. That particular day, if I went out the back door and turned to the right, I would see another stiff and grimacing possum. He was left over from two nights before. His fearsome visage caused our cats to tiptoe by him, ever on the alert lest the varmint leap up and attack. They needn't have worried. That possum died from what my friend Sylina calls "lead poisoning". He warn't gonna git up ever agin. A lot of possums meet death by lead poisoning around here, but some fall due to cranial contact with a blunt object, like say, a crowbar. Some play cowboys and injuns with Chief Nathaniel Compound Bow. Others succumb because a hoe mysteriously gets caught between their head and shoulders. And then there is the colorful "death by paintball".
So much variety to the danse macabre!