Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Possum paradigm

Thank you for your service!
Lately, for whatever reason, I've been coming across news and facts about possums (or Opossums, if you're fancy). I don't know why that is. Maybe the possums have retained a new press agent. If so, that person is doing a top-notch job on behalf of their new clients. At any rate, it's been interesting learning about these critters. Such as:
"Opossums eat fruits, snakes (opossums are immune to all types of snake venom, except that of the coral snake), insects, snails, slugs, eggs, mice, rats, fish, frogs, crayfish, and carrion. If for no other reason than pest control, opossums are great to have around! In urban settings, an opossum will eat pet food, bird seed, and garbage; this animal forages constantly because it has no food caches like squirrels, and it carries little stored body fat."
As a homeowner, that sounds pretty great to me! I think I'd like to have some possum protection from varmints like snakes and rats. I mentioned this to someone and they asked, "how many snakes and rats do you have where that would be necessary?" None, that I know of. And I'd like to keep it that way. This would be a preemptive strike.

I see possums scurrying around sometimes when I come home late at night, but I'm not sure they're hanging out on my property. I want to change that. I want to make friends with the possums in my neighborhood. I'd like my home to be sort of a community gathering place for the local hoi possum polloi. Not as pets, mind you. I don't want them to live in my house, where I give them names and make them wear tiny hats and sweaters. I just want them to feel welcome to hang out in my yard and just do what they normally do. They can go under my house and have babies, eat trash and police the would-be vermin, things they're inclined to do on their own anyway. In exchange, I wouldn't run over them with my truck, chase them around, or screw with them in any way whatsoever, for that matter. I would even put out some nice snacks now and then as a token of my appreciation.

With that intent, I left something delicious for them to eat on my front porch; this apple:

That's a good looking apple, don't you think? I thought so. To be even more accommodating, I chopped it up into nice, bite-sized chunks:

I thought they'd come running to devour this bounty of sweet, juicy soluble and insoluble pectins, and also vitamin C...

I guess the possums just aren't into it.

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