Sunday, April 13, 2008

Playing Possum

One great thing about this blog is that it has allowed me to resurrect my artistic talents – so far in the form of various sketched animals (ants and a cat to be specific). This is a bit odd as I was never one to draw animals in my artsy days (though I could draw a mean unicorn in elementary which was the envy of every school mate – or so I fancy). I’m pretty sure it looked exactly like this:

Anyway, this has greatly increased my self esteem as it is clear, even to me (and we all know we are our own worst critics), that these drawings are something special. Yes indeed. My only disappointment is that they all have to be drawn using the mouse with our kid’s “paint” program (we don’t have a scanner), and there aren’t many color options available.

But, I digress; the point of this post was to discuss the opossum, which I will only refer to as the possum. I’m much happier calling it a possum and my spell-check seems fine with this as well, so it must be legitimate.

I don’t know how many of you knew this, but the possum (fine call it an opossum if you must) is the only marsupial in North America, and – you may have guessed it – we live in a narrow strip of possum territory! When I discovered this, I couldn’t wait to see the critters hanging from their tails in cheery little rows. Sadly, this is never how I have seen the possum, and that is not just because (apparently) they very rarely hang from their tales, it is also because they are only seen like this (as far as experience has shown me):

Yes, that is what you were fearing it might be, a dead possum. I see them practically every time I go out running. Some of you may have heard the term, “playing possum.” This refers to someone pretending to be dead. Apparently when the poor possum sees no real hope for escaping his predator, he (as a last ditch effort) plays dead. I hoped for some time that this was what I was witnessing. Unfortunately I’m pretty certain they can’t “pretend” to be smashed. It makes me wonder if it was this very tactic “playing possum” that lead to their actual deaths – a last ditch effort to throw off the speedy and frightening predator racing towards them. If so, it seems Mother Nature might have considered the advent of vehicles when equipping the poor creatures with such a defense.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nanc, I think your art skills are improving! That possum is the best drawing yet from your recent art portfolio. I think Mr. Colton would be proud. Hmmm...Do think Mr. Colton is still around? I especially liked the way you portrayed his lifelessness with the x's for eyes. Liz

Perla said...

nice work, nank. i'm happy to be back and able to read your wonderful musings again! love you!

BS and the Kids said...

You are quite the artist!!! I didn't realize you were doing those with the mouse, and now that I know, I am so impressed. Possums really don't have great defense skills, too bad.

jami said...

poor poor possums (and poor poor nancy for not being able to see your possum hanging nicely in a tree)

Lover of Sweets said...

Oh I am laughing at the fact that "playing possum" is probably how they actually got that way! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing! Never stop entertaining me by wondering how things got to be a certain way. I love it and you!

Tash said...

so talented Nachito!!!

Mugsy said...

O Nancy, Those are the coolest pictures ever. And now i laugh because Kathy asked Connor what his favorite animal was and he answered "meerecat" ???I know it was because of Abe. Anyway why won't you please post your sketch of Daisy. It is so so good. Do you need me to email it to you?

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