I tugged on my rubber snow boots, grumbling, as my husband spoke-whispered something about a possum in the closet. What on earth? My husband and I had been married a total of thirty-two hours, and already we were dealing with some middle of the night crisis with a wild animal. This wasn’t exactly the honeymoon I’d dreamed about since I was a teenager. Sure, I gave up the idea of lazing around in a bikini on a Caribbean beach, and I had decided it was okay to forego a Mediterranean cruise, or even a railway trip through Europe. I’d fallen in love with a man who loved nature and being in the mountains, and so I came to terms with a romantic remote mountain cabin as our honeymoon destination.
The cabin belonged to his uncle, and my husband had spent several weeks a year up here. When we got married, his parents and brothers had chipped in and bought it from his uncle, who had wanted to sell it anyway. They gave it to us. For my dear husband, this was the best honeymoon destination ever. He could share his love of nature with me, and create new memories with his family over the years.
Yesterday, we’d tramped along some of his favorite trails. The fall air was chilly, but perfect for the gorgeous changing leaves. We had bundled up together when we got back to the cabin, drinking hot drinks by the fire. An Italian beach would have been nice, but this was so much better. It was more intimate, and I loved how much my husband was enjoying sharing this with me.
I felt different when he woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to come quietly to the kitchen, that there was a possum in the closet. I had never seen one, and really didn’t care to see one right then, especially indoors. But, I tugged on my boots, gathered a warm blanket around me, and tiptoed as quietly as one can tiptoe in snowboots. When we got to the kitchen, he quietly opened up the closet door and gently pulled out a mostly empty bag of dog food. His uncle had always brought his dog up here, and we hadn’t cleared out the closets when we got here.
The bag had been chewed open at one of the bottom corners, so my husband carefully pulled the bag up and into a nearby plastic bin. He opened up the top of the bag and shone his flashlight in. I peered inside.
Sure enough, there was a baby possum asleep, or playing dead, inside the bag. I was fascinated. I’d never seen anything like that before. Greyish, white, with a long head and odd ears. Its eyes shone, and it popped up. Quickly, my husband put the lid on the bin and took the whole thing outside to let it go.
A few thoughts went through my head then. I was happy I had a husband who knew how to handle things like a possum in the closet. I was very tired. I wondered where on earth the mother possum was hiding. I really would have been very happy on a Caribbean beach.