If there is anything I hate more than rats it’s big rats, which is what possums are. Possums feel at home in Coral Gables. They roam around like they own the place. So it came as no surprise when we discovered a couple of them nesting in our backyard. Next to our useless swimming pool (too short to swim, too cold to get close to it), we have a very expensive motor that cleans the water we never swim in, as well as a device that operates an amphibious vacuum cleaner that consumes more energy than the country of Benin. The motors are encased in a structure covered by a piece of wood. Whenever the submersible hoover gets stuck I muck around with the motor and pretend to know what the heck I’m doing. Imagine my surprise when I discovered not one but two possums relaxing next to the motors. They had brought leafs and sticks to make their own Sealy Posturepedic. They had apparently lifted the wood cover and managed to return it to its place, just to shock me.
Ora and I debated what to do. We were really ambivalent about the whole thing. We felt for the creatures. After all, we are vegan; believe in interspecies justice, and all that mushy staff. But I really dislike these animals. They revolt me. So we decided to do nothing.
A few days later I went to visit our lodgers and found them in Kama Sutra pose number 69. They were totally oblivious to my inspection, showing great sexual dexterity. This went on for a few days. In addition to revulsion, now I had reason to feel voyeuristic guilt.
Mr. and Mrs. Possum occupied our pool motor home for a few more days until we saw them leaving their abode to forage for food. I reluctantly removed their possessions and secured the wood cover with several bricks. It was heartbreaking to see them return to find out that they had been evicted. We wanted to compensate them with some oxycodone and Viagra pills, but they would have none of it. We saw them leaving, carrying their Kama Sutra guide on their backs. They were obviously offended.
Our backyard is not just friendly to quadrupedal diprotodon marsupials, but also to all kinds of bugs and birds that enjoy mango for desert. To feel Floridians, we planted a few trees as soon as we bought the house. Watching our mango tree grow has been especially rewarding. Sharing it with white flies and the entire ornithological kingdom has not. Ora watches our mangos like a hawk herself. The problem is that she reminds me in the middle of the night to go and fetch the mangos that might have ripened since I squished them 3 hours ago. “Isaac, I hear birds near our mango tree; don’t just lie there, do something.” “Don’t worry Ora, I’m sure it’s the possums trying the latest Marsupial Kama Sutra position.”