Reads like a movie title. In this case it is what is happening this morning so I will be brief (sighs of relief out there). Notice I did not write OUR gardener – we do not own one as of yet. More correctly it should be said we both do have a part time gardener – each other.
This week we have encountered yet another Wild Kingdom member, a rather odd one, but the story needs to be told.
For me it started with some ‘droppings’ in our driveway. We own no pets, so right off we were miffed (putting it gently).
Upon removal I noticed this did not have the appearance of canine or feline. It was grainy and had a bear-scat like quality. Not being a scatoligist I moved on from any further thought on the matter.
Our usual routine is to have dinner in front of the television upstairs. We leave the downstairs area quite open including at least one of our two “garage” doors lifted. Other than an occasional visit by one of our resident iguanas, and once our neighbors large German Shepherd, we have had no problems with leaving things open.
We essentially live out-of-doors here in the tropics.
After dinner we went down stairs – Anita clearing and then cleaning dishes and I went for a Bohemia. I poured the frothy elixir into a tall cold mug – a man-sized variety glass with handle – one which will engulf 355 ml standard beer and still have room for at least another.
I was about to pull up a chair in the adjoining dining room (contiguous to the cocina) when trouble was afoot. I heard pained sounds – unclear but obviously unhappy.
Checking this out I found that I was in trouble for having brown beer dripping below the kitchen island counter – just about where I had just poured.
I think I have mentioned herein that I am NOT allowed in the kitchen except for the most simple of visits.
I have permission to make coffee in the morning (for both by the way) and other quick and CLEAN short visits – I mean the refrigerator/beer is in that room after all.
So I saunter cautiously into the kitchen bewildered because I was sure I had all 355 ml of beer in my tankard.
There on the wall was the evidence. I mean I was busted! But more than that quite confused. Yes, I am 66 years old. My eyes are not what they use to be (and at that never were great without corrective lenses). While not as lithe and agile as some years past I am hardly doddering. I almost always have a direct hit at the urinal. My hands are steady and I can see my toes – no problem – the beer has not gone to my belly to the point of any visual obstruction.
But, she was right. The evidence was clear. I was further confused, but not convinced that I was culpable.
Quick thinking (the think pot still works pretty well) I decided to lay blame on the neighbors big Shepherd. I pleaded my case, “THAT, that, dog must have come in here and lifted its leg to our wall.”
There was plausibility to this.
We kind of investigated the dampened area. By now Anita had bucket and rag applying soapy water to the island wall. I explained that I could not have been responsible, “Look here. There is way too much beer in this mug to have been shared with that wall.”
I was feeling better about things at that point until the disgust started to come over me. A dog entered our casa and relieved itself. What’s more, Anita explained that in the last week or so she had encountered several of these dripping walls in and about this area and the dining room; and all deposits at about the same height – ugh!
As she completed the cleanup the entire canine world was being cast in a very bad light; she is not a particular dog lover. You might imagine how it was going.
I on the other hand, having assumed the role of dog’s best friend many times in my life. I was having a hard time believing our neighbor’s dog was the culprit; all the while relieved I was completely off the hook at that point.
But, it dawned on me. We had been seeing a possum in the yard recently. You know the kind that Granny of the Beverly Hill Billies cooks up – “ummm possum belly” and other innards. We both had recently seen one of those scrumptious marsupials cruising the yard. A first for us after so many wild kingdom visitors in our lives over the years.
I went to the computer – I LOVE Google – typing in ‘possum pee’. Then gathering my thoughts I changed ‘pee’ to ‘urine’. There were hits with both. And within seconds I read about brown liquid on living room walls – an oft possum invasion result. There you are!
Now not only was I off the hook, but Coby, the neighbor’s dog, was back on the list of friendly vecino’s.
Of course we read much about possums in the next half hour.
In our research an alarm went off relating to another friendly vecino. Across the street lives a couple we have grown to like very much. Actually here we like all our neighbors. This neighbor has a horse. We read this:
Possums are dangerous around horses because they can transmit a disease called EPM in their droppings and urine. … Equine Protozoal Myeloencephilitis…attacks the horse’s brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease vary somewhat according to how severe the infection is, and include seizures, severe weakness in the hindquarters, ataxia, difficulties with swallowing, eating, and breathing, and ( in very severe, end stage cases) coma and death….
Alarms went off. Are we harboring a horse killer in our yard? Something must be done, if not for the sanctity of our interior walls and living space, for our neighbor’s steed.
Apparently Granny and the rest of the Clampett Clan were eating a protected species. There are many cautions about not hurting the rascals including not capturing one during Spring or Summer as it may have babies for which it is caring. And in many countries they are protected by law – NOT here in our part of Mexico. They are more likely to end up on the dinner table.
That written – we are about to enter a new chapter in the Calypso Clan’s lives; that of possum hunters. Where else can you read of such adventure? So Stay Tuned!