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Tashi and the Past-tense Possum

May 12, 2014


Tashi’s tummy ache subsided but not her ability to find delightful treats in our suburban-gone-wild backyard.   With no tame lawn, I pull grasses that grow faster than I can yank. With their foxtails and other sharp pointy seeds that have evolved to be carried in animal fur or catch in the ground, I worry they will invade her ears, throat or paws. However, my greatest challenge is the ubiquitous presence of the past-tense possum.

Shortly after Tashi arrived, she presented me with the skull and forward extremities of a quickly decomposing possum. Having seen live possum grins, it wasn’t hard to identify that sharp dentition, but that did not make it any easier to disengage it from Tashi’s teeth. I always forget to wear gloves in the garden and that day was no exception. Deciding it was more important to get the carcass away from Tashi, ASAP, than to hunt for gloves, I assumed the proper, “Ewwwww” stance as I carried it to the trashcan. This was followed by an unsuccessful search for the remaining remains, after I washed my hands and found the gloves.

In subsequent weeks I could count on Tashi to find a leg bone here, a sharp vertebra there. How many bones are there in a marsupial skeleton? I am beginning to think they are infinite, although her most recent recovery is a long skinny shriveled tail. Perhaps that is the end?

From → Prose, Uncategorized

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