The warm weather seems to bringing out our local marsupials. About two weeks ago we spotted this little fellow ambling around the compost bins and garden fence. Filled with envy for a tail of my own, I watched him attempt to climb on the chicken wire and the garden fence so he wouldn't fall in the snow. I wondered if it was fun in some way or simply the grogginess of the first sunny day in some time. (It would have been much more efficient to simply plop down and wade through the snow to the fence, climb the fence using the tail as needed, plop again, and then dig for food. But, who am I with my longer legs and opposable thumb?)
Yesterday, though, these little fellows put their names on my list. My list of things that need to go, that is.
I returned from a run around our country block to see two opossums eating from the chicken feeder. I walked up speaking loudly, and one darted between the coop and the barn, and the other (this is where I absolutely shrieked!) went directly into the coop. I bounded over and quickly opened the roof to find...just the opossum. Sitting in the bottom nesting box like a furry chicken with a ratty tail.
My greatest relief came when I saw the girls standing in an empty bay of the woodshed just behind me. Whew! Now, I just needed to get the opossum out of the coop. Easy.
I live in a fantasy world of logical small animals.
I tried shooing the opossum out. No go.
I gently poked the opossum. It ran out of the nesting box and climbed on top of another one where it waited. I don't know what it was waiting for, so I tried tipping the box with the stick. The stick slipped and the opossum fell between the wall and the nesting box. No injuries except perhaps to the pride of both of us.
I finally tipped it over, and it ran back into the first nesting box. At this point, I simply lifted out the entire box and set it down in the snow. The opossum ambled out and into the barn. Not rushed at all, but I'm sure it had a headache.
The other opossum was still between the barn and the coop, and hissing at me. It would not budge despite a little gentle poking, and moving things out of its way to encourage progress. No go.
Meanwhile, the girls behind me started making those "I'm ready for bed, how about you?" sounds, and walking toward the coop. Good grief. Any other time I want them to go to bed, it's an Olympic feat to catch them. So, I closed the door to the sound of a hissing opossum, and then lifted the girls in to their roost. Thankfully, that was very easy. They must have been tuckered out after a day in the sun.
A little more poking, and the second opossum started on its way. And now we've got the live trap out and ready.