That Opossum Isn't Playing Possum
A man's well cared for and loved garden is both a source of pride and oft consternation. Several years ago, my patch of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and collards produced a bumper crop much to my delight. Without warning, but not entirely unexpectedly, evidence of an unwanted night visitor began to appear in my happy veggie haven. Small bits and pieces missing at first soon turned into whole tomatoes, peppers, and collard leaves disappearing under the cover of darkness.
A quick Internet search on the subject of small animal nuisances produced a few ideas toward the task of protecting my bounty. A fence did little to hinder the destruction of the plants, calling for more drastic measures on my part. Pepper spray, animal hair, marigolds, and scarecrows of various kinds were completely ineffective in even discouraging the annoying little interloper. In complete desperation, I decided to set a trap to end the destruction once and for all.
Having nothing better to do with her time, my retired neighbor followed my activities with unusual interest, inquiring about additions and innovations in the battle to free my friendly plot of its blight. She was especially interested in the more obvious construction attempts, since they had more potential to reflect poorly on her property. With every attempted solution, she feigned both interest and concern, complete with mock encouragement to continue the good fight.
Several days later, I returned home after a full day of hiking to a full blown commotion in my backyard. Making my way around the house, I was rudely greeted by my now not so friendly neighbor with disgust and disapproval. Accusations of cruelty and abuse were spat at me as I made my way to see the object of her anger. Apparently an opossum had found its way into my trap, somehow catching its leg in the door. Hissing and showing sharp teeth, it was making a noise sounding like the cry of a frightened child. I could only hope its leg was broken as I threw the crazed animal into a bag and transported it several miles away to raid the garden of someone else.
While others steal, cheat and lie, I will forever be known as the great opossum hunter in neighborhood infamy. At least my garden is safe.