So, fun times tonight. Hub had some friends over, who apparently left and I didn’t know it. No big deal there. But I’m on here, writing up a blog post, and I hear horrible noises from outside, screaming and squealing and barking and howling. And I FREAK THE HELL OUT.
It’s nearly ten at night, I’m already in my nightgown–technically, it’s like a thing I wear around the house before going to bed, strapless tube-top type jersey gown–and I’m in bed. I’ve showered, I’m trying to relax and focus on my blog post…and out of nowhere, these horrible horrible noises. I pick up the phone and call Hub’s cell, because sometimes the dogs run outside at night and chase rabbits in the yard, which includes barking. But this was definitely different, I just have no clue why. Hub picks up the phone and he’s practically panting…
“Possum…I think they caught and killed a possum.”
So I ask if the dogs are okay, is anyone bleeding. He says he doesn’t know, it’s too dark to tell and Le Moo is NOT wanting to let the supposedly dead possum alone. And Hub is outside with the two dogs, alone. He’s trying to hold Le Moo back and he’s yelling at me to get outside to help him. And as he’s yelling at me, I’m saying, “OK OK OK” and trying to hang up the phone so I can get downstairs and outside, but he’s still yelling at me on the phone! I’ve already pushed my feet into my house shoes, I drop the phone and pretty much jog awkwardly down the hall in my nightgown and my glasses, my hair up from the shower. Problem is, my knees have been KILLING me the last couple of days. I’ve been avoiding the stairs as often as possible because of how much pain I’m in. And here I’m needing to hurry the hell down the hallway, down the stairs, and through the kitchen. I stopped barely to grab leashes out of the dog drawer on the way–we have several in there, I just grabbed what I could and ran to the back door. As I’m rushing outside, I have to slow to get down the stairs off the deck, and then I realize that they are all the way out in the back corner of the yard. The darkest part of the yard…and across the worst part of the yard. The ground is bumpy and craggy, unstable and partially sloping upward. My knees are screaming, I’m hobbling as fast as I can, and Hub is yelling “I don’t know if it’s dead! I don’t know if Le Moo got bitten! I can’t keep Le Moo away from it! HURRY!”
Flashes of my run-in with Le Moo and the snake are assaulting me. I know how strong Le Moo is, and how stubborn. Hub is bigger and stronger than she is, but he’s in panic mode…and he’s got Le Moo by the collar while still holding the flashlight on the possum to make sure it is not moving. Le Moo is a beast when she wants to be, and holding her by the collar is a tough fight.
Meanwhile, Butthead is standing five feet away from Hub, Le Moo, and the possum. I think she’s kind of freaked out…Hub said he yelled at her and probably scared the shit out of her. So fortunately she’s not going at the possum, so I hooked her up to a leash right away, then tried to walk further over to Hub to hand him the other leash while containing Butthead in my freaking nightgown. And yeah, so the possum sits up, nice and alive, and HISSES and shows its sharp-ass fucking teeth. It’s less than five feet away. Le Moo goes BALLISTIC…starts lunging again, nearly pulling Hub off-balance. He’s yelling at me, then starts yelling at the possum to get it to run away. It sort of seems uncertain, hisses and shows those damn teeth again, then starts to get up, but Le Moo starts lunging again. I’m trying to get to Hub to give him the leash, but he’s got Le Moo’s collar in one hand and the flashlight in the other, and he’s struggling. I tell him to wrap his arms around Le Moo’s whole body to hold her back, but as he tries to do that, she lunges again and nearly gets away. Finally, the possum shoots off across the yard. Butthead lunges against the leash I have her on, which nearly takes ME over. Le Moo lunges, but Hub manages to get the leash on her. The possum is thrashing its way through (or up and over) the fence, quite noisily. Le Moo is livid, Butthead is wanting to chase the damn thing, and I’m trying to hold my ground on my freaking painful knees in my freaking nightgown which I had hiked up over my hips a bit because it’s floor-length and I didn’t want it dragging across our crappy buggy lawn. In hindsight, I’m probably lucky I didn’t lose the whole shebang because it was only being held up by a loose stretchy tube-top.
I turn away from the darkness toward the house and try to take Butthead with me, and she actually cooperates somewhat, but Le Moo is planted. Hub is yelling at her to come with him, which does no good. So we trade leashes (yeah, he takes the 65lb weakling, I take the 95 pound cow), and I put my whole body behind Le Moo and start pushing her toward the house. Fortunately, she decides to follow Hub and Butthead, so we trot after them, my knees still screaming. I hobble up the steps onto the deck and we get the dogs into the house.
Thus begins the inspections, because we have no idea if Le Moo or Butthead got bitten. Hub tells me that the dogs raced out to the fence, came away, then raced back again. And hopped UP on their back feet on the fence. And he THINKS that Le Moo grabbed the possum off the fence with her mouth and WHIPPED it across the yard. Then raced after it. It all happened so fast he had no idea if the possum got her or what. But as I said, Le Moo is stubborn and hardly allows us to check her over. She’s also really hairy, lots of the areas are thick, too. So we finally get her onto the floor and we’re checking her, touching her, getting all the stupid seeds out of her fur (from the crap that grows near the fence)…and we see nothing. Not a speck of blood, not a scape or a scratch. He checks Butthead while I sit on a chair and start checking Le Moo more closely, rubbing her neck and legs to see if she flinches or pulls away. Nothing. Butthead is clean, too.
We brush and pet on the dogs, both of us feeling the adrenaline rushing through us. Butthead wanders off to other parts of the house repeatedly, barking for no reason before coming back for more petting. Le Moo pretty much lays on the floor and lets us pet and brush her, as if nothing has happened. She’s all kinds of relaxed at this point.
Jeebus freaking hell-fire. I (and my clean nightgown) am now covered in dog hair and dog slobber, bugs, grass, who knows what else from the run out through the yard. My knees are aching, my heart is pounding, and fear is rushing through me. Any one of them could have gotten hurt. Any one of them could have been attacked, bitten, ripped open… Stupid dogs, did they not SEE the freaking TEETH on that damn thing? Look, we’re basically city people. Yes, we live in a suburban area, but it’s not like we live in the woods or in the middle of wild country. Yes, we have deer in our treed back acre. Yes, we have two foxes and tons of birds. Lots of bunnies. But they don’t come in our yard and hiss at us with big sharp teeth. They stay in their area, we stay in ours. It’s kind of an unwritten deal we have. The snake didn’t, and he had to die for it (there is another one out there, at least one, I know it because they’ve been spotted and so has their skin, but if they stay outta my yard, I’ll stay outta theirs). I sort of now wish we’d been able to kill the possum, although I know that’s terrible. But it scares the hell out of me that he (or she) might come back when the dogs are out again and someone might get hurt. If he (or she!) is smart and stays out of the yard, then we’re all good. The deer stay out, as do the foxes and the groundhog…and the other snakes.
We’re okay. Le Moo and Butthead are okay. I’m going to have damn nightmares all night. I don’t ever want to be that close to a possum again. And I wish Le Moo and Butthead would give up the possum hunt forever. Bunnies are better to chase…they move faster and don’t have scary teeth. Yikes.
(meanwhile, my freshly laundered nightgown is now back in the laundry pile again. I literally JUST washed it this afternoon so I could wear it tonight and over the weekend.)