life and death
today was hard
on a drive to look for bones i spotted something on the empty mountain highway.
gray and white and wet and an odd shape in the middle of the lane. I pointed, we moved into the other lane to safely pass it when i realize it’s an Opossum.
sitting up right, head leaned forward in the windy, rainy road. I made my partner stop and i walked swiftly and quietly towards it giving the poor thing a wide berth.
when i got closer it was shivering, its nose just touching the asphalt. There were no visible signs of injury other than a slightly bloodied nose - i feared the worst, head trauma, or that it would move and guts would spill out from a wound i hadn’t seen.
We used a plastic rake and gentle voices to help steer/walk the Opossum out of the road. He seemed to move fine, no limp and still no visible injuries - aside from the bloody nose and seeming ‘dazed’. We fear he has a head injury.
My partner was able to carefully scoop the opossum up on the rake and we carried it down the embankment to a large, mossy tree where were set him at the base. I ran to the truck and grabbed my scarf and covered the wet, shivering critter with it - he didn’t seem to mind.
As we left i gave him some of a peanbut putter sandwich and pulled the scarf over most of his body, he seemed to ‘relax’ and we needed to head on about our business.
on the way back we stopped to check on him. as not to disturb the poor thing we parked across the road and walked quietly over to the edge. To my surprise he was there still, curled up on top of my warm, dry scarf. The opossum was sleeping and we watched it breathe for a while - excited that it was taking deep, even breaths that did not seem labored.
i’ve found opossum bones with some crazy healed injuries - i hope this little buddy can do the same. We’ll go back in a day or two to check on it..
i’m glad today was not the day we had to use the machete to end suffering, i’m glad today ended with a damp Opossum cuddled happily in a black scarf under a big tree with snacks waiting for it when it wakes up.