From The Storyteller
June 25, 2018, Learning Curve
Until our move to George West (age 59) my exposure to wild animals was limited to birds and squirrels. This changed when “Friday”, our outside cat, began to go through a full dish of cat food every night. On this particular evening sitting on our back porch, I came face to face with the possum that had been eating Friday’s food.
Now all city kids know that when confronted by a wild animal you “don’t move” or it might attack. So I sat quietly until the possum acknowledged my presence and slowly strolled away. The next day True Value sold a small animal trap, and I learned how to set it. Next morning - a trapped possum.
Learning to deal with our newly acquired friend was the next step. The plan: Load the cage, possum and all, into the back of the pickup, drive across the river bridge, park in the tall grass, open the trap, and watch it trot off. The plan worked 33 times.
On one particularly memorable morning we faced a different problem. Instead of a possum in our trap we had a skunk. As you can imagine, the possibility of being sprayed during close range dealings with a caged skunk is over 90%. Opening the trap’s door with the skunk still in it - 100%.
Learning to deal with the new situation required wisdom from a long time local George West resident, “If a skunk doesn’t see you, there is a good chance it won’t spray.” The plan: Walk slowly up to the cage holding a blanket in front of me, gently put the blanket over the cage, drive blanket-covered cage across the river, open trap while standing behind blanket, then move away quickly.
The plan worked and the skunk left without incident. Prayer answered.
Moral: There is always more to learn.