Victory at Last!

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For the past couple years, there has been an ongoing battle in my backyard between Thing Two and a stray opossum. An opossum in my mind is just an over grown rat the size of a large house cat, but much uglier. A couple of years ago, there was a huge commotion in the backyard one evening after I let Thing One and Thing Two out for their last visit outside. There was horrible hissing, moaning and drama combined with excessive barking. That’s when I discovered that Thing Two had cornered an opossum. The opossum responded by backing itself up the fence and hanging on for dear life with its tail.

Shortly after that I realized that the hideous thing actually lived in my backyard under the shed. Lucky us. Our very own opossum. There were several more incidents since with dog vs opossum. Most were combined with hissing and barking, yelling and broom beating. Last year, Thing Two actually got his teeth in the beast and managed to rip the side of it open. I yanked him off and thought for sure that it was dead. I can personally confirm that the playing dead thing that you’ve heard of is not just a rumor. It lay there unmoving for 20 minutes before delicately lifting itself up and shimmying back under the shed.

Last night I let the dogs out a little later than usual and could not believe my ears when I heard the now familiar, frenzied barking. It’s been several months since the last sighting and I had started to think it was gone at last. I rushed out, broom in hand, and saw Thing Two in front of the shed. He was tearing and ripping at the opossum once again. I managed to get him inside which was actually me poking him with a broom and chasing him to the backdoor while screaming at The Kid to get the back door open. I calmed everyone down and resigned myself to checking on the backyard in the morning.

Imagine my surprise when I awoke, peered out my window, and spied the body laying in front of the shed. Thing Two had won the battle at last! Just when I had given up on it. I pulled myself together and got a shovel out of the shed to work on disposing of the body. The beast was huge, ugly, hairy, and bloody. My yard backs up to a main street and I was hoping to toss the body over the fence for the city to pick up, assuming it was your everyday roadkill. Since the back fence is eight feet tall, I wasn’t quite sure I had the coordination to actually get the thing airborne and over the fence without it landing squarely back on me.

I opted for the front fence as an alternate plan. I balanced the beast precariously on my shovel and hurled it over the fence into the yard between my house and my neighbors. I admit, I secretly hoped that the lawn guys would see it and just pick it up as they mowed. They’re men, and men do things like this, right? The Kid and I got ready for work and school and went merrily on our way. The first sign that all did not got as hoped was when we arrived back home this evening.

As we turned the corner onto our cul de sac, I noticed there were two hawks circling the air slightly above our house. Hmmm, that was new. Hawks the size of the Birdman from Alcatraz. I pulled into the garage and peered around the corner of the house. There, in the midst of my newly mowed lawn, was a dead opossum gently perched on an island of longer grass. I’d like to take a moment to thank the lawn service for so delicately mowing around the body so as to not disturb it.

I prepared the trash can and yet again retrieved the shovel from the shed to take care of things. As I prodded the body with the shovel, I noticed the hawks were looking rather agitated at the thought of me removing their snack. I managed to get the opossum onto the shovel and began the 75 foot, mad dash to the trash can while dodging dive bombing hawks. I’m sure it was highly entertaining for the neighbors to see me fleeing with the opossum on the shovel while screaming “Ohmygod, ohmygod, where are the hawks, where are the HAWKS?!” while The Kid stood screaming like a girl.

As of now, the body is disposed of and I apologize now to the trashman who will be greeted with a surprise in the morning. Thing Two is victorious at last and can sleep the sleep of a contented doggie who fulfilled his doggie duties. I can sleep with my fingers crossed that the beast lived alone.

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