Mason County News
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011 • Posted March 30, 2011


Dead in the trap.

That is that.

And a giant rat at that.

Now barking dogs.

Three in the morning.

Something’s up.

It’s the middle of the night.

You tiptoe out on the porch.

A surreal world awaits.

Nighttime lit by a streetlight.

Above, a conglomeration of stars.

Nobody around.

Neighbors sleeping in dark houses.

All is quiet.

And there it is.

Bigger than a breadbox.

Bigger than a cat.

Bigger than a Chihuahua.

A giant white possum.

Glowing in the dark.

You slowly move towards it.

But it doesn’t move.

You shake the hose nearby.


It doesn’t budge.

Just bares its teeth and hisses.

You imagine it suddenly leaping at you.

Its needle-sharp teeth clamped onto your leg.

So you leave.

And go back inside.

And leave the porch light on.

Take that, you nocturnal marsupial.

Didelphis marsupialis, to be exact.

According to trusty Webster.

Opossum is the correct name.

Comes from the Algonquin Indian dialect.

Means, literally, white beast.

Works for me.

The porch light worked too.

Opossum left.

Opossum preferring o-darkness.

Dogs quit barking.

Cat goes back to bed.

Stars twinkle.

Neighbors still sleep.

Finally, you do too.

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.

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