It was a summer evening. My Great Grandfather, my uncle, Raymond and I sat on the back porch whittling and spittin. The lies and tall tales were coming heavy. Neither Raymond nor I was old enough to add any input, but both Unc and Poppa more than made up for it. Supper was over and the wimmin folk were cleaning up, when I see a movement out of the corner of my eye. Looking over I see an old he-boar opossum trotting across the yard, heading for his dinner in our hen house. I figured I’d get my rifle and send him on to meet his Maker, But Unc had a different idea.
“Possum !” yells Unc, sitting up in his chair. “One of you boys grab him!”
Well. IF it’s going to be “one of you boys”, it’s going to be Raymond. I had found out the hard way when I had climbed that tree to get a “dead” squirrel out of its nest, not to pick up undead wild critters. Durn thing went up and down my hand like a Singer sewing machine. Yup. It was mighty hard to let go of.
But I digress.
Raymond hops up and makes a mad dash for the possum trying to grab him by the tail, like Unc was telling him to do. I was mighty involved too … sitting there sipping iced sun tea and wondering if Raymond was going to get bit and if so, where.
Raymond makes a grab for the critter, but it dodges him, then falls over playing dead.
“Lookit that !” yells Raymond with a grin. “Durn thing musta had a heart attack and died!” He picks it up by the tail and it gloms onto his leg.
Old Raymond is doin a fair imitation of a one legged man in a butt kicking contest, as he hops around on one leg, while yodeling and trying to tug that varmint off by its tail.
Except for Raymond, everyone including the possum was having a good time, but then my grandmother ruined it by running out with a screwdriver and prying the critter’s jaw open.
Raymond had bloody chaw marks and the possum made a bee line for the tall grass on the other side of the fence.
Unc looks at me and says “Grab it, Jess.”
The man was obviously insane.