At the close of a very low key anniversary of my birth (very much the way I like them), while watching most of the first installment of History Channel’s excellent “Hatfields & McCoys,” I went to wash dishes and Susan went out back to wrangle Bink (who officially doesn’t come in at night unless his presence is officially requested).

Next thing I know Susan’s calling out “Possum!” and I go toward her fearing she’s found a stricken one. But as I’m coming out the backdoor, Susan’s coming in and moving to the front of the house and I follow her. In pursuit, allĀ  she says is “It’s a big one!” and we throw open the front door just in time to see it scoot past along the walk and around the corner up the south side of the house. I follow at a distance so as to not further stress it out, and it decides to settle in between the green and blue trash bins, politely waiting for me to get my camera and even more politely allowing me to flashsnap its picture without hissing or showing off its bad-assly impressive set of teeth:

A fair share of people are repulsed by these amazing creatures, but as I’ve said before opossums have my utmost respect and compassion, in part because they’re beneficial creatures with an awesome ability to adapt to such a harsh environment, but moreso because frankly it’s hard out there for a ‘possum. Brutal even. Those in urban areas typically endure short and difficult lives fraught with perils that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. So to encounter a healthy mature one (albeit with what looks to be a wound on its muzzle, perhaps from fighting for a mate) — especially after the last two opossums I found were both infants and injured — is a gift I cherish.