Friday, March 13, 2009

Opossum Panic

I’ve noticed that growing up on a farm has made me tougher in a lot of ways. The main way that comes to mind is that I don’t scare easily. I’ve done a lot of walking in old barns alone at night and it doesn’t really bother me. I can sleep out in the middle of a field in a tent and last the whole night. I can see a mouse or rat and not have the urge to scream and get my feet off the ground. If there is a spider in the shower in the morning, I can dispose of it myself.

Although all of these things may make me seem a little brave, there is still one thing that really freaks me out. It wasn’t until a chance encounter one night that I realized I am deathly afraid of opossums. I always knew they were ugly and a little disgusting, but I never really understood just how bad they were until I got a little too close to one.

This whole “event” took place about 4 years ago on my farm. I was finishing up my evening chores like I always did. I would always try to get my chores done before dark so I didn’t have to mess with flashlights and turning the lights on and off, but for some reason I was running a little behind this particular night. I had most of my work done, but I was waiting on my brother to get done with his chores because I needed his help for something.

I decided to sit down in one of our barns while I was waiting. As I was sitting there I noticed some of our cats were acting a little strange. Then I heard my dog growling, but I figured he was just growling at the cats. I didn’t think anything of it; however, I noticed the cats were sort of running away. Once again I just figured they were scared of the dog or something. A few minutes later I felt like one of the cats was near my feet, but when I looked down, I saw a huge opossum almost touching my feet!

I jumped up and ran to the other end of the barn. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to explode. I had never been that scared before in my life. I had also never moved the quickly before. Even though I had gotten away from the opossum I was still worried it might be somewhere near. I started peaking around the corner and it was nowhere to be found.

After I was confident the opossum was definitely not anywhere near, I decided to make a run for it. I got out of the barn safely and without encountering the possum again. When I told my parents what had happened, I told them this opossum was the biggest opossum I had ever seen. Of course they just thought I was exaggerating because it scared me.

It turns out though that a few weeks later my so-called “exaggerated” version of the opossum was proved to be true. My brother caught and disposed of the opossum. Surprisingly enough it was the biggest opossum he or my dad had ever seen. After going through something similar to this, I’m sure most people would be afraid of opossums.


  1. So I love that you just told this story. I have also had a run-in with an opossum. So to set the story, I am not a country person at all, and I mean absolutly not at all. So I went to a bonfire at one of my friends house that was in the country. We were all hanging out until all of a sudden the guys sister is running and screaming because of an opossum. So the dad comes out with a 12 gauge and shoots it 3 times (it is smoking at this point) then stabs it with a pitchfork and puts it in the fire. I was just around a very dead oppossum, I couldn't imagine actually running into a live one. Eeeek!

  2. Hahaha. I love this story! I have never personally met a opossum but I do think they are ugly critters. I think its great that your family finally got to see the opossum and believe you about the size.Next time you will probably believe your dog and cats when they start acting funny.
    I always get scared I'll hit the opossums on the road or something. They just hang out on the road! I'm always thinking, seriously? Do you have a death wish?
    Hopefully you don't have any more run-ins with opossums. Be proud of yourself that you aren't afraid of spiders and mice. That is a definite advantage to most people!

  3. I feel like after reading this story, I can imagine being there when it happend. I also live on a smaller "farm" now and I have noticed I am not as startled by things either. However, when I was pet sitting once the family told me to beware of raccoons in little spaces and I was slightly frightened by that. I thought you did a good job of introducing the story, telling the story, and then concluding the story. I can just picture how your pets were acting and your response after seeing the opossum so close. You did a good job of drawing your reader into the story.