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Saturday, April 3, 2010


It seemed to be hobbling slowly, as if inebriated, across my neighbors front lawn. Not knowing what type of wild life it was, I carefully walked toward it as it persist to stumble, aimlessly, without fear of my approach. Then it gingerly sat its haunch on the ground starring at me with its narrow snout, Grayish was its hair with a long leathery tail and leathery looking black ears. Sitting there it just stared at me as I approached closer. A blank stare almost of wonderment as it, with a preceding head wobble, fell side ways onto the grass. Laying there, all of a sudden it raised its upper torso and turned its head once more to look at me. It was a look of bewilderment staring at me almost in a query asking ‘why?’. It then slowly rested its head onto the grass and somehow I knew it was its last life effort. When it looked at me I felt sad and at the same time guilty that I couldn’t do anything to help not knowing what its situation was and also being inexperienced at rescuing this type of wild life. As it lay their for a moment, I now approached closer to see if there were chest or stomach movement, indications of breathing. I notice the belly moving about and at first I thought it was still breathing. At closer observation, I noticed a tiny little clawed foot and a tiny long prehensile looking tail, pink color like a new born baby’s skin, attempting to shimmy out of its pouch. This is when I deduced it was a possum marsupial. A mom that had just taken its last breath because it just lay there without chest breathing movement and now its eyes were wide open and glassed over.

Earlier, I had called animal control when first I saw it gingerly ambling across the front lawn of my next door neighbors house. They had not arrived yet and I felt helpless and surprisingly saddened to where I felt a tear trickling from my eyes and tickling down my cheek. It was that last struggling look toward me that had been impressed upon my human empathetic memory. When, finally, the wild life officer pulled up and observed the now stiff body laying down I pointed out the movement in mamas pouch and explained to him the movement of her stumbling about that I had observed prior to her expiring. He said it sounded like it had been poisoned. As he picked her up from the tail, a now stiff body, he proceeded to say, seeming sympathetic, that some wild life whose carcasses had been found recently showed indications of poisoning with anti-freeze. He stated that if this was one of those indications, even though they would try to keep it alive, the little one in the pouch would probably not survive.

As he pulled away I recalled that wide eyed life ending stare from ‘mom’, taking her last breath, was more a look at me as a human species rather than as an individuals inability to help another living being. I, unabashedly, sat down in my front lawn and soulfully cried. This, a dark cloud on an otherwise beautiful sunny warm Spring day.