Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dead Things in My Yard. For Real.

Buckley dog was doing that terse, unsure barking last night.  The kind that says, "I've got prey. I want to play with it, paw at it and such, but it's not moving."  Bark. Bark.  "MOVE, you stupid thing."

Our big Maglite is out of batteries, and missing.  I was in pajamas and barefoot so wasn't going to wander into the backyard to inspect what Buckley was hunched over.   I firmly yelled for him to come in immediately and to my surprise, he obliged.  I made a quick mental note to check the yard in the morning before letting him back out.

I forgot to check in the morning.  I wandered out on the back porch this evening with Hadley, then I saw it.  The prey.  Mouth agape, tiny teeth glowing, it's body rolled in red clay, and covered in flies.  I dared not touch the baby possum, and thankfully, Buckley was disinterested now that it was dead and unmoving.  With Hadley by my side I decided to return immediately inside and remove the carcass once she was in bed.  I should note here that Jeff is out of town all week, so I'm Weaver Animal Control this week. Dangit.

Tonight, as the light faded, I shoveled up the body.  Baked by the sun, eaten away and fly infested, the smell was putrid.  I quickly headed for the back of the yard, intending to hurl the little wretch into our neighbor's yard.  Yep. I'm that neighbor.  I mean, not usually, but in this case I felt my reasoning sound:   A. They're renters. B. the back corner of their yard is thickly overgrown and I'm sure no one goes back there since their children are older and they don't have pets.   C.  Since we have a clumsy dog who roams our yard looking for things, I shudder to think of the smell of his paws were he to accidentally step on the carcass, or God forbid, try to nuzzle it some more to try to bring it to life.

One flick of the shovel sent the little guy flying toward the neighboring underbrush.  But he hit a branch mid-flight and landed in thick ivy, on our side of the fence, in the very area where Buckley likes to roam around.  See, if Jeff would have been here, I would not have dealt with any of this.  As it was, my dead-possum juice covered shovel was making me gag already, and now I would have to go dig the thing out of the ivy for a second attempt.  Well the dang shovel kept snagging in the ivy, flinging the crumpled little beast here and there, spraying his stink around the edge of our yard.  Finally a clean pull, a furtive flick over the fence and the pest was gone.  But his odor lingered.

I sure hope Jeff is happy.  All his frolicking around Utah's canyons while I'm dealing with stinky dead things.  Blech.  I much prefer the sight of a dead zucchini plant to that grossness.

What would you have done with the dead possum?  Should I bring the neighbors cookies, just because?


Alison said...

Totally justified. Thanks for the laugh.

Sarah said...

Ugghh. You are brave!