**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Opossum
by [?]

One day in March one of my neighbors brought to me a handful of young possums, very young, sixteen of them, like newly born mice. The mother had been picked up dead on the railroad, killed, as so often happens to coons, foxes, muskrats, and woodchucks, by the night express. The young were in her pouch, each clinging to its teat, dead. The young are carried and nursed by the mothers in this curious pocket till they are four or five weeks old, or of the size of large mice. After this she frequently carries them about, clinging to various parts of her body, some with their tails wound around hers.

The next winter, two or more possums and a skunk took up their quarters under my study floor. It was not altogether a happy family. Just what their disagreements were about, I do not know, but the skunk evidently tried to roast the possums out. The possums stood it better than I could. I came heartily to wish they were all roasted out. I was beginning to devise ways and means, when I think the skunk took himself off. After that, my only annoyance was from the quarreling of the possums among themselves, and their ceaseless fussing around under there, both day and night. At times they made sounds as if they were scratching matches on the under side of the floor: then they seemed to be remaking or shifting their beds from one side to the other. Sometimes I think they snored in their sleep. One night, as I was going from the house to the study, I heard a rustling in the dry leaves and grass, beside the path. Lighting a match, I approached the spot, and found one of the possums just setting out on his night’s excursions. I stooped down and stroked his head and scratched his back, but he did not move; he only opened his mouth a little and looked silly.