A Possum Playing Possum
Early this evening, as we were all getting ready to leave the house for a couple of hours, Yuriko spotted a tail sticking out of the recycle bin. The bin is next to the back door and right now contains some newspapers, aluminum cans and a few plastic items -- separation by material isn't required for pick up where we live. The tail was hairless and tapered to a point.
As soon as the girls heard about it, there was much commotion. At first they refused to walk out the door, even though the tail wasn't moving and no angry animal sounds emerged from the bin. I kicked the bin slightly. Still no movement, but looking a little closer I could see part of the animal's snout and its gray fur. Possum, I decided. He didn't move, or make any sounds. This was a first for me. I'd seen a possum playing possum.
No doubt he wanted to burrow for warmth, since it's nearly freezing outside, and happened on our bin. I insisted that the girls file past, following their mother, and the scary thing they imagined at the end of the tail didn't leap out at them. When we got back home later, he was gone. The girls insisted I verify that before they walked past the bin again.