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What happened to that strange-acting possum?

Yesterday I described a few of the critters we’ve seen recently around the homestead. I mentioned the possum who was acting strangely.Opossum possum

I did go back after breakfast to check on him. Surprisingly, he was still there by the ground cloth (I thought it was shade cloth, but I was mistaken), and he looked bad. Now…not to be mean or anything, but possums on a good day won’t win any beauty contests, so you know this one had to look rough. He did. His eyes looked sick and he looked liked he’d been through the wringer. One eye lid was flipped up revealing his inner pink membrane, and I knew this was more than a case of playing ‘possum. Opossum possum

The possum out back


But what to do?

I called Adam for the pair of leather fireplace gloves, then wondered what the plan should be.

Looking closer, we saw that his mouth somehow had gotten snagged onto the fabric of the ground cloth, and he’d tried and tried, but couldn’t get free. That’s what I saw him doing in the morning when he was thrashing about.

Using a stick, I gently tried to lift the woven fabric off his teeth, but it was stuck fast. He looked so pitiful that my heart went out to him.


Adam asked me why I’d even bother to help him since he eats our berries and gets into the trash. Just because I can’t stand to see anything suffer, and he had already proven he could not help himself.

I then had Adam bring me my Hori Hori knife, which I used to slice the fabric close to his mouth. I was worried he might bite me, but he just didn’t have the gumption.

Once cut free, he did not bolt away. He shuffled slowly under a piece of angle iron nearby, and laid down. I picked some blackberries and put them beside his snout, but he ignored them. I left him alone after that, but came back later and he’d gone away.

I hope that in his free state he managed to get the cloth out of his teeth. At least he is not stuck anymore.Opossum possum

Any lessons from the plight of the possum?

I think so. Some imperfectly formed thoughts come to mind.

I guess I see myself in that homely gray possum. Sometimes I’m just plodding along, trying to do my best. It’s hard to do everything. The days are long and full of lots to do.

Sometimes I see something that looks like a real blessing. Blackberries are refreshing and sweet. Amidst the trials of life, out of the blue, I see an evidence of God’s care for me, and I savor it to the full. If you could have seen that possum devouring the berries the other night, you’d see that he was doing the same–loving his discovery!

For me, that blessing might actually be the wild blackberries, like it was for the possum. Or a bright sunflower to remind me of joy. An experience like with the hummingbird, or a Bible verse that speaks to my heart. Blessings are all around, if we stop to look.

But, like that possum, I sometimes get tangled up, and it’s hard to see even how I got there. All I know is that I’m stuck in a problem, in a stress, just twisted up and trying to unstick myself, wearing myself out.

Thank God He often sends a friend. Or someone to help. Sometimes He just has to whisper to me to stop the struggling that’s getting me tangled up worse.Opossum with babies

Sometimes possums can be cute.

I don’t always get a rescuer with a knife to cut me free. Gods knows what I need, and I have to calm down and let Him help. He often holds the knife, though, and if it’s best in my trial, He will sever the bonds.

Through it all, He is there.

Ridge Haven Homestead Blog, Book of Nature, Homesteading Journey , ,

13 Replies

  1. Awww, what an inspiring story!
    Don’t we all look liked we’d been through the wringer some days? Aren’t we all stuck in a scary situation from time to time? Wouldn’t it be nice to get some kindness and compassion?
    Thank you for rescuing the possum 🙂 Bonus points for the blackberries, too. Are they already ripe where you live?

  2. Poor little possum. I’m so glad you were able to step in and help free him. I’m not sure if I would have been so brave. And, I love the lessons learned from this and how you tie it in to your own life experience. Kudos!

  3. How sweet, I can’t stand to see anyone or anything suffer. I’m so happy you freed your new little friend but I’m wondering….was this a sign from God, he sent you in the right place at the right time to help the little possum.

  4. I can relate so much with the parallel you made. Interestingly, I had just read in my devotional reading about the grumbling of the Israelites for meat. The point was drawn to have a spirit of thankfulness rather than fretting and complaining. I find worry and anxious thoughts usually leads to grumbling and complaining.So thankful for God’s gentle voice to speak to us at just the moment we need!

      1. It’s possible, but definitely find them to be recurring. I’ll have peace and then something new happens and old habits pop up. It’s a constant surrendering.

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️