ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Possum Playin'

Updated on March 14, 2012

As I awoke this morning, after dreaming of cats and dogs, I saw two of my cats between the front window and the Roman shade. The shepherd's hook outside holds two bird feeders and I figured they were transfixed by the hungry birdies. Well, I was wrong. They were transfixed - but by the opossum who was having difficulty maneuvering gracefully on the slippery shepherd's hook. I pulled up the blind and perched on the bed to watch.

It was quite a comical sight. The foot-long silvery-gray opossum struggled to hold on using his (I guess) tail and dexterous paws. He even resorted to using his sharp teeth to hold on with little success. My husband sent the dog out to chase it off but she never saw the creature. Then he stood on the front porch and tossed some water on it to scare it away and the animal froze - playin' possum, I suppose. Then he tried poking it with a board and the possum finally ran off under the porch.

The opossum (or possum, as it is commonly called) is the only native North American marsupial. The female has a pouch for her babies like kangaroos do.

The Didelphis virginiana is typically the size of a large house cat with a prehensile tail it uses to help maneuver. It can hang from its tail for a short time (not long enough to take a nap). The possum also has thumbs (halluxes) on its rear feet. The gray creature is primarily nocturnal with a keen sense of smell and will eat almost anything. It likes a wide variety of habitats, but particularly likes being near water.

The opossum generally has seven or eight babies at a time. After delivery the bean-sized infants crawl through the mother's fur to end up in her pouch where they live and eat for about two months. Then they clamber onto mom's back where they will spend another four to six weeks before going out on their own.

Possums are known for "playing possum," or appearing to be dead when threatened, as we observed this one doing.

I enjoyed this little encounter with nature!

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Gypsy & Toys. I enjoy watching possums - from a distance. They're quite unfriendly and will hiss at you if provoked.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    How absolutely adorable - the opossum - that is. The hub was amusing.

  • toys-everywhere profile image

    Rachael C. 6 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

    This was interesting and informative, as well as a gift in that it's been a long while since I have seen a possum. There used to be quite a very many in my little town when we moved here, but over the years I have seen many hillbillies who actually enjoy running things over, and so, tragically, we have not seen Mr. Possum in some time. I'm glad you got to see it though! This hub reminded me that I actually caught a picture of the squirrel that comes to our backyard and perches on the seat of the bicycle sitting outside, so it looks as though if his legs and arms were longer, he would pedal off. :)

  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, drbj! Aren't coincidences great? :)

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

    What a coincidence, esmeowl. You enjoyed this possum encounter, and I enjoyed reading this delicious hub about it. Thank you.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)