Monthly Archives: May 2009

Poor Possum with a Ponderous Pouch


This morning I went for a little walk around my yard–it was early, and I was just quietly looking at all the little growing things, and seeing which little things had popped out of the earth, and which were bigger than the day before. Suddenly a possum came running toward me. It startled me, so I moved into the road. It realized I was there, and decided to climb through the metal bars of my fence. Just one problem. The possum’s middle was gigantic, and she couldn’t get through the bars. Poor thing. She probably thought she was like she was BEFORE she was carrying around a dozen or so little possums.

I watched as she struggled, trying not to laugh, because she was baring her teeth at me and obviously frightened, but it looked so cartoon-like as her front claws dug a hole on the other side of the fence as she tried to get through. She gave up and backed out–and then tried to go through an identical space just to her right! Amazingly, after 5-10 seconds of struggling, she finally got through the second time. Maybe some of her babies moved around.

I found out that possums have the smallest brain to body ratio of any mammal (which explains a lot!) I also found that they usually have 16-20 babies that are just the size of a grain of rice. After they are born (just a couple of weeks after the mother mates) they make their scary way across her hairy belly to the pouch. Many don’t make it, and the mother only has 13 nipples, so if they don’t find a nipple to attach to, they will also die. About 2 months later they are big enough to leave the pouch.

Talk about interesting. I hope I see her again tomorrow.


Why I like pit bulls more than some people

OK, the title of this post should not be misinterpreted as meaning that I like pit bulls. I actually am terrified of any dog over about 5 pounds–dobermans, german shepherds, and chows are near the top of my list, but pit bulls are definitely my number one disliked dog. I know, I’m sure you know one that is just adorable and so sweet, blah, blah, blah. I’m just saying I got bitten by a dog when I was little and I don’t like anything besides maybe a cocker spaniel or a papillon (which would just be a little amuse bouche for a pit bull).

So, there I was last night in my yard putting down mulch on my flower beds when a couple with their pit bull came walking down my street. My body immediately went into “fight or flight” mode, but I stayed put. They got into earshot and I heard the man saying, “Well mulch is just stupid. You just have to do it every year.” His companion replied, “I know, I think I’ll put down rocks this year, but mulch is a waste of time!” While this conversation is taking place I am maybe 6 feet away, big as life. I think about the social contract that we have that prevents us from butting into other people’s conversations, so I keep my lip zipped (especially because the guy was about 250 pounds of unruliness and remember, they had a pit bull with them). But REALLY, I was RIGHT THERE!!!

It reminded me of when I was dropping Greg off at Ball State and buying him a few things at the local Target–some towels, sheets, shampoo, and so on. The woman behind me in line talked really loudly to her daughter about how she’d better not think that she she went to college that she would get all the junk that most of these college kids get.

So in conclusion, I rest my case. As much as I dislike pit bulls, there are some people I dislike more.