The Hunter – part 2

Now possum hunting isn’t supposed to be a big challenge and I reckon that is the reason you don’t see many of the stuffed critters in your local taxidermist’s display window along with deer heads, bears, and that bald eagle Billy-Bob “accidentally” shot. My plan was to first find a possum up a tree enjoying a midnight snack of ‘simmons, climb up, and grab him by the tail and sack him. That was my plan.
Eventually I crossed the wide pasture and came to the first and smallest fruit tree and without using my flashlight, could see that no possums were dining in it. I moved up the vine-tangled fence row until I came to the next tree which was by far the largest. Most of the leaves had fallen from the berry-laden branches and the ground was thick with fallen ‘simmons, one of which landed beside me as soon as I got there. Persimmon trees are not very large even when full grown with a trunk that can easily be climbed especially when a lower limb is reachable from the ground. I flicked on the flashlight and sure enough, two sets of possum eyes were peering down at me as the critters munched on the wild delicacies. I lit a cigarette and carefully looked them both over, electing to go after the one nearest the ground, he being closest to the tree trunk and only 10 feet above my head. I removed my coat so as to make climbing easier, then stuck the tater sack inside my shirt. Lighting the cigarette was probably not my best move as both possums became a bit agitated when the match flamed; one gave a menacing hiss. I waited a few chilly moments and they settled down as I finished my smoke. Reaching a lower limb where it joined the trunk was a stretch but I jumped a little and was able to get a good hold on its frost-sprinkled surface. With my other arm wrapped high around the trunk, I used my knees to grasp the bark and slowly inch-wormed my way up until I could grasp an even higher limb which happened to be the one below where my quarry was becoming mighty suspicious, once again hissing a waning in my direction. I finally was able to get my foot on the lowest limb and stand up where my eyes were just above the possum which I intended to become granny’s supper; he was within reach but was inching away from me. I pulled the sack from my shirt and made ready for the capture. Above me I heard the other possum hiss and he sounded too close to my ears. I looked up and he was easing down the tree head first and was only about a yard above my hat with a “move it bub” look in his eyes. He was determined to keep coming and I made a quick decision to grab the possum I wanted, sack him, and quickly shinny back down to the ground before I was evicted by the descending critter. I held the sack in my left hand along with a small branch of the tree for steadiness, then reached for and grabbed my prey by his tail and tried to pull him back to me. He was hanging onto the limb tighter than I thought possible so I moved my right foot a bit farther out on the limb for more leverage and it hit a heavily frosted patch of smooth bark, slipped, and down I went still holding onto the desperate possums naked tail, foolishly hoping he had enough grip to hold us both; he didn’t. My straddle banged hard across the lowest limb, the possum was falling and growling just above my face, and I was screeching in pain from the squashing my groin had just endured. However, a semblance of luck was on my side; I landed hard on my back where the breath was knocked from me and there were extra stars twirling in the sky, but I was alive. The possum also landed hard on my chest but apparently unharmed; I must have turned loose of him somewhere in mid-flight because he quickly scurried off into the undergrowth of the fence line. As I regained my senses and began inventorying body parts, I realized I was probably going to escape with no broken bones but there was still a dull aching in my straddle which peaked with each heartbeat. I found my flashlight and saw that the other possum once more easing back onto his fruit-covered limb for another snack; I figured that was a good place to leave him. I also saw my tater sack and hat hanging on some low twigs and after catching some deep breaths, was able to retrieve both. I shined my light around where the critter had disappeared into the tangles of honeysuckle vines and barberry bushes which all but obscured the fence, and about 20 feet from me I caught glimpses of his eyes moving through the tangles. I’ll get granny’s supper yet, I thought; I was on a mission.

To be continued …

Have a happy weekend, sweet childs of mine …

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 11:24 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well written, my friend. It wasn’t safe for you, these critters are alert and skilful. Their hiss is terrifying.
    Vegetarian supper is much better, I think. πŸ˜‰
    Happy weekend to you too.

  2. Granny wanted possum and I was bound to deliver! πŸ™‚
    Thanks, Jola.

  3. I might eat possum as long as I suspected it was chicken.

    I like the story. Very well written. We need to whole story..

    What can i say about GnR that has not been said. Stands the test of time.

    • I’m writing this stuff as I think of it and my brain tires easily. Like most of my stories, it is based on some true incidents.

      You could say that Axl is a sweet guy. I don’t think that has ever been said before. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks, Mark.

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