Recently I had an adventure, and I know you will get a laugh out of it. It was late in the evening, after a long day. Turning to art to relieve some stress, had my wax on. The windows were open for ventilation, with music playing to create a soothing and calm mood to heighten my creativity. I was a few days out from an art show where I was to sell some art…only I didn’t have much to show. I was having a burst of inspiration when I heard the sound of a waterfall. Only my music didn’t have a waterfall sound.
I stepped into the next room to hear splatter coming from the utility room. Opening the door to an arch of water shooting right onto the electrical panel quickened my pulse. I got the air conditioning off and the stream from the cracked condensation tube stopped. Standing in water, realizing that everything in the closet was soaked, I frantically grabbed some towels from the bathroom. While wiping down the walls, floors and shelves I suddenly heard the dogs barking in the backyard. Not uncommon. I went on with the mopping up, only the barking began to sound frantic. I thought it was louder due to the open windows, but soon I recognized the sound of pain. It’s kind of like how you know your baby’s cry. Throwing the sopping towel over my shoulder I headed to the backyard, barefoot.
I flipped the light switch only to find that the bulbs on the outside lights were out. I called the dogs to come in…to no avail. They were adamant that whatever they were barking at was way more important than me calling to them. I became aware of a sound I did not recognize at precisely the same time I realized I was home alone for the entire night. Without light I could not discern what the sound was. Lucky for me I had my handy dandy cell phone in my pocket. I switched on the flashlight just in time to spot a possum sitting on the fence, its beady eyes just staring at me. The dogs were throwing themselves at the fence, and I finally realized that with every lunge Rusty came down on the electric wire causing the ferocious bark to change to a pain filled yelp. Over and over it went. There was no bringing them in; there was no stopping them from their attack. The possum taunted the dogs and walked the fence like a tightrope walker. I was at a loss as to what to do, until I saw a push broom leaning against the wall, left by a son in need of cash. Grabbing the broom, while holding the flashlight and dripping wet from the towel around my neck I pointed the beam of light right at the angry hissing varmint.
Deciding that a jousting hold was the best way to wield my weapon, I moved forward into the grass. The dogs were going crazy cheering me on. They could almost taste their midnight snack. My bare feet found every rock and stick which caused me to bobble the phone, which caused me to lose track of the possum as the light fell away. The hissing seemed louder and closer in the darkness. I clamored for light. Once my spotlight was back balanced just so, I found the beast was gripping the fence and facing me as if to say ‘bring it on.’ Just as I was about to knock him off the fence, my resolve failed me. My mind raced to any information I had ever learned about angry possums. Do they attack when they are mad? Or will it just fall down like it is dead? Don’t they carry rabies? What if I accidently knocked it INSIDE the fence? My imagination, which is always active, pictured dogs attacking and fur flying. I saw a rabid possum rushing my ankles while I tried to run away with no shoes and no light. I could picture myself running into the electric fence with my wet towel and lying fried on the grass while the wild animal ate my eyes out. Like I said, I have an active imagination.
All of these thoughts went through my head a split second before I was to knock my foe to the ground. My hesitation did not last long, however, my plan changed in that short time. Instead of going towards the fence I changed my stance and faced the dogs. Using the broom as a shepherd’s hook instead of a sword, I corralled them and shifted them towards the open door. Once they were inside I gave the possum one last glance and I could swear it smiled. I locked the door, and finished cleaning the utility closet while the dogs barked at the windows. By this time, any artistic inspiration had left me. I turned off the wax, closed down the studio, changed out of my wet clothes into pjs and went to bed. Life in the woods is always an adventure.