I was in the fifth, or sixth grade, when I found them; Two baby Opossums. Back then everybody I knew just called them Possums, without the O in front. Their mother had been killed while trying to cross the highway, most likely under cover of darkness. I saw her when I was wandering around outside early one morning before school. I went down to the road to see what it was. The closer I got, the better I could see, and I soon realized it was a possum. A car passed by just as I reached the end of the drive way. Just then I heard a strange noise; a kind of hissing sound. At first I thought she might still be alive, but then I saw something moving on her back. Just then another car zoomed past, and I heard the noise again. It was a baby possum. I waited for the traffic to clear, then I ran into the road to rescue the baby. As I reached down to pick it up, I saw another one. I grabbed them both, and quickly ran back to safety.
I ran back up the hill, and into the house to show my grandmother what I had found. Since they no longer had their mother to take care of them, we got to keep them. I grabbed a shoe box, and an old broom. I cut the broom handle into short pieces the width of the box. I spaced them out evenly, and nailed them to the open top of the box. Then I turned it up on it’s side, and they had a cage with bars so they could see out. We fed them some milk, then went to school.
Guess what we did as soon as we got home. We ran to see our baby possums. I hadn’t put the bars close enough together, so one of babies had gotten out. We quickly began searching for it, and found it in just a few minutes. We had to get a bigger box to keep them in, but they were always trying to escape. Another time one of them got out the big box, and disappeared. We searched the whole house. We searched for hours. Hours turned to days. Then three days later he came out from behind the refrigerator. He was tired and hungry, but he was okay. We were so glad to see him.
We loved our baby possums, and they grew pretty fast. With them getting bigger, and constantly getting out, and making a mess, our grandmother made a decision. We had to get rid of them. We were so sad, but we knew a woman who wanted them. She came to our house, and took them home with her, and raised them like cats. I’m glad they had someone to take good care of them. Someone to love them as much as we did.
When I was sixteen, I went to live with my dad for a while. He had found a grown possum, and was keeping it in a cage outside. One day he got another one, and put it in the same cage just before he left to go somewhere. It wasn’t long until I heard a commotion outside. When I went to see what was going on, I found the two possums fighting. The new resident was losing the fight, so I opened the door to get him out, so he wouldn’t get hurt any worse. When I reached for him, he turned around, and attacked me. His sharp teeth ripped a hole on both sides of my index finger. I still have those scars on my hand today to remind me not to mess with wild animals when they’re fighting.
A few years later, a guy brought a possum to work to see if anyone wanted it. I remembered having those two for pets when I was younger, so I took it home with me, and put it in a cage. I soon realize it was too old to tame, and I thought about setting it free, but I was glad I didn’t when I saw a few babies crawling around on her back. Soon I saw more, and more. I secured her where she couldn’t bite me, so I could count the babies. I took them all out of the cage, and found that there were eleven of them.
I started taking a few out each day to play with them. I wanted them to get used to me so I could keep them as pets. As they got older, I saw it wasn’t working. When I would go out to see them, the mother would always hiss at me. Soon all the babies were hissing at me, too. They would go crazy when I would pick them up. I think I would have had to take them completely away from the mother to tame them. I knew it was too late for this bunch, so I decided to let them go back into the wild. I lived in an area with lots of woods, and lots of other wild animals. There was a river, and several springs where they could get water. So, I opened the cage door one night after dark. When I went out to check on them the next morning they were all gone. I felt good knowing they were free.
My last attempt at keeping a possum for a pet was just a few years ago. My mother-in-law had found a young albino possum in her dog food bag. I went over to her house as quickly as I could, and brought it home. My youngest son, and I spent half the day building a cage for it. Although it was young, it was still afraid of us, and it kept trying to run away. I kept it for a week, or so before I decided to release it back into the wild. It wasn’t warming up to us at all, plus it was just too messy. We took him to a big wooded area, by a big water way, so it would be able to survive. We let it go, and watched it quickly disappear into the safety of the woods.
When God created animals, he meant for them to live peacefully with each other, and with mankind. He brought them all to Adam for him to give then all names (Gen. 2:19-20). There was harmony between man and animals until sin entered the world. After God destroyed the earth with a world-wide flood, he gave man permission to eat animals. He told Noah that the animals would now fear man (Gen 9:1-5). Today, we have domesticated animals, and we have “tamed” many wild animals, but that fear is still there, and it manifests itself in many forms, and degrees in different kinds of creatures. It makes us feel good when we “tame” a wild animal. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, and we like to have pets that others don’t have, or at least ones that are not that common. Some animals are dangerous, and unpredictable though. It’s probably best to leave wild animals alone entirely.
I also think we all sometimes try to recapture, or recreate some things that brought us joy when we were children, but many times it’s not exactly like we remember; Like a certain food we loved as a child, or a TV show, or movie, or even special pets. I think maybe, sometimes it was more the circumstances, and maybe the people we were with at the time that mad those things so special, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to get that back. So we just need to cherish those fond memories, while we make new ones with the people we love.
The Journey To Heaven
© 2016 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved