The Possum Whisperer
By Kathi Macias
I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life, but I never thought I’d wear one that read “Possum Whisperer.” But following a bizarre encounter in my kitchen, the name seems appropriate.
My husband, Al, and I had just stepped outside onto the patio when we spotted an ugly, furry creature streak past us and into the shrubbery. We looked at one another and spoke one word: “Rat”.
We made a beeline for the hardware store and picked up the necessary equipment: bazookas, TNT, and bear traps. (Okay, so we picked up a couple of rodent traps, but we were armed for bear!)While Al went outside to set the traps, I checked email. Then I saw it—the sneaky varmint darted out from behind my desk and raced across the floor and onto the porch, where he scurried behind the washer. I immediately started screaming for my husband to “get in here right now!” (My 87-year-old mother had already hunkered down under the covers, refusing to get out of bed until we caught the “wild creatures” that had taken over our home. My screaming retriggered her alarm, so Al now had to deal with a renegade rodent and two hysterical women.)
Being the courageous and valiant protector he is, Al got past his own fears and managed to calm us down, as he set another trap near the washing machine. “That’ll catch him”, he assured us, as Mom and I wondered just how long we could sustain our “feet off the floor” positions. By now Al felt he’d done all he could, so he climbed into his golf cart and headed for the executive course behind our house.
Al scarcely had time to tune up his swing before I walked into the kitchen and spotted the beady-eyed little monster huddled in a corner. Wisdom stopped me from screaming, as I desperately wanted to keep our unwelcome guest in one spot. I slipped my cell phone from my pocket and punched “2” on the speed dial. The instant I heard my husband’s “hello,” I whispered“, Hurry, hurry, hurry!” and hung up.
It would be several minutes before my hero arrived, and I didn’t want to lose track of the nasty critter, which by now I had ascertained was a possum and not a rat. I noticed that as long as that pesky possum heard my voice, he didn’t move, so with our eyes locked in mortal combat, I began a monologue determined to hold him captive. When I ran out of things to say like, “How’s the wife and kids?” I resorted to reciting the Gettysburg Address. (Honest!) It must have impressed him because he was still frozen in place when my husband arrived. Using a broom instead of a bazooka, Al was able to shoo the little guy out the door, and our rodent problem was solved.
Now dubbed “possum whisperer”, I wonder how I maintained my cool in the face of such abject terror. What should have sent me over the edge instead resulted in my recitation of a historical speech to a four-legged audience of one. Admittedly, I was praying as I spoke, and clinging to one of my favorite scriptures: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
I’m still not so sure about the sound mind part, but I’m convinced that God replaced my fear with His love—as He always does, even for possum whisperers.