The Possum Crossing

Author: W. K. Hayes

My opinion on Possum Safety

Having read an article earlier today, I was reminded of a small, but humorous event that had taken place in my life. This happened when I was around seven years old.

I would spend a lot of time with my aunt as a child, growing up. My aunt loved taking car trips to see family or friends, or just to get out and go exploring. She really loved driving as I recall and a ride out in the countryside was her favorite thing to do back then.

If you have ever driven in North Carolina, ene sign you are certain to see, here in the Carolinas is the infamous, deer crossing sign. I remember asking her about the sign and what it meant. She explained, that the signs were used to warn drivers to slow down and keep a close eye out for deer along the side of the road. She also went on to explain that hitting a deer with your car would do some serious damage, especially if it was a buck.

Of course, the only, ‘buck’, I knew of was the dollar bill. So, I asked her what was a buck? She explained that a buck was male deer for which, I replied, “Oh, I thought a buck was a dollar”.

“Well, they’re also male deer”, she explained as she laughed.

Later on, at some point in time, we had run into a friend of hers and somehow, the subject of possums came up. I would not swear to this but I’m fairly certain her friend really liked small furry animals.

Trying to fit in with the conversation and flex my little intelligence-muscle, I looked up at them and interjected, “They should have possum crossing signs like they do for deer”!

They cracked up laughing at the idea although, I felt it was a great idea. Little possums could safely get across the road…maybe even have a possum crossing guard. I had the whole idea worked out in my mind, back then. As you can tell, the idea never did catch on but, for that seven year old me, it should have.

For years, my aunt teased me about the possum crossing suggestion and to this day, I am fairly certain she still remembers it to this day. Fact is, about seven or eight years later, I was spending time with my aunt when we ran into her friend.

By then, I was my full height of six-foot-five. The lady didn’t recognize me right away and I recall her asking my aunt, who I was. Now, my aunt being the way she is, couldn’t tell the lady, “Oh, this is my nephew Keith”.

That would never do in her book. So, instead, she told the lady, “You remember him…he’s the one that wants to put up the possum-crossing signs”.

That lady’s face lit up like a Christmas tree as she ran over to where I was still sitting in my aunts car and proceeded to pinch my cheeks as though I were still five.

“Oh my gosh…look how you’ve grown”, She said as he opened the car door and made me get out so she could get a better look at me.

The redness in my face was a mixture of pinched cheeks and embarassment like you would not believe. My cheeks felt violated! Still, the fact that she remembered me and my brainy-idea was amazing to me.

I miss my Aunt…we were really close at one time but we haven’t spoken since my mom’s funeral. And, as for her friend, if you ever happen to read this…I’m still a strong supporter of Possum Crossing signs…it may never happen…but it should.

The lesson I learned from this is that, people really do remember the things you say. So, always think about what you say before you say it because those words will stick with the listener for a very, very long time. I love you Aunt R.

Oh, and for the record...I know that Opposum is spelled with an O at the beginning in every state...except mine. In the Carolinas we call'em possums...We save the O's for late at night!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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Comments 18 comments

Shyla's Nana profile image

Shyla's Nana 6 years ago

This was a very funny story. As I was reading this I could see everything going on as your story unfolds. I could see the little lines across the road with you holding a stop sign and "them lil possums" crossing the road to safety. I could imagine the buck crossing at the same time and nodding hello to the possums lol. Oh, the gift of imagination. Thank you for such a cute and funny story.

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

My pleasure...and don't forget...if you see a possum crossing the patient and let it cross. lol

TheHopefulPoet profile image

TheHopefulPoet 6 years ago from Florida

What a cute story. I like the lesson learned here. I love the fact that you dropped the "O". I can't recall having learned to spell the word possum with an "O" in front of it and I was very surprised latter in life when I found out the proper spelling. I thought it was a southern thing! LOL

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Thanks TheHopefulPoet, Truth be known, I am a southern gentlemen and to use the, 'O', in reference to a possum would surely give me indigestion. LOL The rest of the country added the infamous, 'O', as in, "Ohhh, you're talking about that critter"...hence, Opossum! LOL

tnderhrt23 profile image

tnderhrt23 6 years ago

These visits just get better and better! I bookmarked this little gem to revisit, its that cute!

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Hi Tnderhrt23, this is actually a true story from the pages of my life. This is also one of the stories I'll include in my autobiography just as soon as its ever done.

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kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

You'll love this hubber babe

I have a pink shirt he now has in his hub says I love possums

please check him out, a friend since like 20 months but too fun

your losing btw, just saying ha

LL xo

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Thanks Lady Lyrics...Possum Lover was one of the first hubbers I followed. Fact is, it was after reading one of his articles that I remembered this story about wanting possum crossings to keep little possums safe.

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hubpageswriter 6 years ago

If I remember correctly, Possum Lover did follow me before and I think his one and only hub was truly enchanting. Hub up.=) Great story on the possum crossing.

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Thanks Hubpageswriter...This is one story from my life that I'll never forget. truth be known, I have to have an autobiography turned in by the end of next month and I've been trying to warm up for it.

Unfortunately, a lot of my life was anything but cute little stories, like this one. Still, if you ever want to truly test your merit as a writer...write your own autobiography. Maybe it's just me but this is the only real challenge I've had to contend with when it comes to writing. LOL

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Qbrown9 5 years ago

Again, agree 100 percent. Write what you know. I prefer fiction, but there are always real nuggets of truths in there. This story is great. Good luck with autobiography--maybe you're done by now. Just noticed the date. QB

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 5 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Hi Qbrown9, I did finish the autobiogrpahy but decided to refrain from publishing it. Normally,I prefer writing fiction but this was one story that I will never forget. Nor will I forget the moral of the story in that we can make a huge impression on others even when we don't realize it. Thank you for stopping in.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I love this story. Possum's are very cute and I adore seeing the babies carried on the mama's back. I can just visualize the lady pinching your cheeks. And your Aunt telling the tale of a little boy's innocence. I live in North Carolina and you certainly got the "feel" correct.

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 5 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Hi Hyphenbird...NC is a great place to call home. I've seen almsot all of the U.S. but NC will always be my home in my heart. Gotta luv possums...8-)

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Good to find you back on HP. I love this story too and someone from N.C. could write a 1000 page hub on possums & make it interesting. Hows this one from FB W.K.- "Mobile Alert! Just saw a possum crossing the road and they made it"!

raburcke profile image

raburcke 5 years ago from Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain

Well ssum-ed up!

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Cute story. When I first moved to TN, I did not think there was such a thing as a live possom. I just saw them as road kill. I have since seen a live one but it took six years before I did. A possom crossing is definitely a good idea.

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 4 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina Author

Thank you Becky...I'm glad you enjoyed a story from my childhood.

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