If you don’t have a blog, you may not realize that coming up with topics to write about can be a real challenge. Sometimes I get on a roll and think of two or three pretty decent topics in a row. And sometimes I just have to make do with whatever comes to mind.
I’m not sure yet which category this post will fall into. That’s because I don’t know yet what I’m going to say about possums.
In truth, I never used to pay much attention to possums. But thanks to the research I did related to my numerous mission trips to Australia, I learned that what we call possums (actually opossums) are the only American marsupial animal. Marsupials are animals that give birth to underdeveloped young that finish developing in their mother’s pouch.
Kangaroos, possums (different from the American variety), koalas, and wombats are among the marsupials found in Australia. They’re a really big deal there.
So much so that I saved this button I picked up in Sydney during the early 1990s, put a magnet on the back, and stuck it on the fridge.
It was part of the yearly “Red Nose Day” promotion to raise awareness in the fight against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Not only did a number of people wear clip-on red noses, you would see them on the front of cars and buses. Even on buildings!
Interestingly, I noticed in Walgreen’s some months ago that they had red noses for sale promoting awareness of some other type of health problem.
Back to possums, though. American opossums, that is.
Several times during the years we’ve been living here, we’ve heard noises under the house. Noises that could only have come from one or more living creatures. We invested in a trap–the kind that captures its prey without hurting the animal–and caught several raccoons. Nasty things.
But not as nasty as the opossums we caught. No way we’d get overly close to the cage with one of them in it. Thank goodness we could open the door without our fingers being near where those sharp little teeth were. We always drove our catches further out in the country to let them loose.
Flash forward to this past Saturday, when Kathleen and I were walking our miniature dachshund, Happy, in the neighborhood. The street we live on is an extended circle (half a mile around) and our part is just a short block from a four-lane road that is normally quite busy. We had barely walked past our home when Happy jumped down in the drainage ditch and started barking.
Low and behold, she’d spotted an opossum in the opening to a drainage pipe going beneath the adjacent parking area. We yanked Happy away from the ditch. Regardless of the fact that she was up-to-date on her rabies shots, we didn’t even want to think about what those sharp little teeth could have done to Happy’s pretty snout.
On the second time around the circle. we saw that the possum had come out of the opening and was moving very slowly along the driveway over the the drainage pipe. I took a picture or two, but then we moved on. We didn’t see it anymore.
Lord, why did You make opossums? They’re ugly and nasty. And why did You put them in our neighborhood?
What? Oh. Your question is why we human beings chose to build houses in the possums’ natural habitat.
Good question, Lord. Does it count for anything that we aren’t the ones who established this community?
I have no doubt that God has a reason for every species of living creatures, no matter how repulsive some of them are. He probably even has a reason for mosquitoes. Maybe just to keep us human beings humble?
If you have a comment, I’d love to hear it.
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