Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Opossum Attack

Most dogs are domesticated, nice friendly creatures, ours are the same but we have to remember that they are still animals.

On Friday night at Lake Barkely, Kristin and I were sleeping outside under the back deck on an air mattress due to a nice night and a full house. Buddy and Shade were sleeping next to us but free to roam.

Before bed, it had been one of those nights that you have with your best friend when you haven’t seen each other in awhile. Playing guitar and singing until our eyes, hearts and minds told us to pack it in during the wee hours. I take my contacts out; throw them in the yard (disposable) crawl onto the mattress with Kristin content with sleeping outside.

A couple hours later, I awoke to a tornado of sounds, the big bellowing WOOF WOOF that Shade can produce combined with the small yet ferocious RRRRRrrrk RRRufff, rrrrrufff of Buddy. Immediately I knew they were onto something. It was oddly lit outside, you could tell the sun was about an hour from turning the corner from the East.

In an instant, I am careening out of bed and flying around the corner of the house as I realize I can’t see anything past 10 feet in front of me, I only have my underwear on and I am quite tipsy from the night still as it must be sometime around 4:30 in the morning. The barking and growling increases exponentially as I get closer and I see that they have something trapped between them but can’t quite make it out in the dark.

You have to understand that these two dogs are such great friends that they can be barking and play biting each other’s heads during the day only to sleep with their heads nestled up against each other and now I see how well they “work” together. Shade being the big boy creates a sort of body block on the animal as Buddy dives in and around the mystery animal with moves that would have made Muhammad Ali jealous. All the time, the animal in the middle is hissing wildly and jockeying for the woods across the street which is still about 30 yards away.

The entire time this is going on, I am screaming like a madman seeing his baby snatched from his momma’s arm. Remember that I still couldn’t see well, it was dark and I had no idea what this animal was that they are so viciously going after. However, even if I would have been a Dragon breathing fire onto the ground next to them they wouldn’t have noticed. They were protecting us and the house. I am almost 100% certain they would sacrifice themselves before having the animal get close to the house.

This animal is officially trapped, Shade and Buddy’s circle of death has tightened and every now and then Buddy has an opening so he can dive in with the same head but routine he uses on Shade but this is somehow different as he grabs the animal with his jaws gives it a quick death shake before jumping back to safety.

I realize I can do nothing but harm if I intervene so I run and tell Kristin to get the leashes. When I get back they are still circling the animal but it is just lying there, I assume it is playing dead and realize that it might be an Opossum as I couldn’t imagine that any animal would give up its life that easy. Shade and Buddy are still circling. Buddy incessantly jumps in biting and shaking the lifeless animal into the air and back onto the ground. Somehow in my mind’s eye I imagine him and Shade ripping the thing apart together before they will be done.

With the animal now just lying there on the ground I am eventually able to distract the great hunters and leash them up. We all eventually lie back down with the mystery animal still lying in the side yard. Even if it wasn’t dead, I didn’t figure it would bet on coming close to our house again.

When the sunlight hit my face in the morning, I got up and walked around the side of the house to find an empty yard. It was most certainly playing dead but I imagine all Kentucky Opossum’s have been forever warned of the beasts at 52 Eden Bay.

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