Yes, we've got one of these hanging around tonight. And we are very excited, because it's the first one we've ever seen in nearly 20 years at the CrazyStable. A few raccoons have made it over from Prospect Park to raid the garbage cans and peer in the windows, but not for years now (although to judge from some recent road kill, they are still trying). But possums? Never until this evening...when I turned into the driveway in the rain to see something hairy and pink-footed trundle purposefully behind the garbage cans, dodge under the gate, then peer out at me with pale snout and beady eyes. It really is a Beatrix Potter creature, although one of the lesser and less endearing ones.
You have to respect anything that (to judge from the photo above) is able to sniff its toe-thumb while hanging from its tail (a feat not duplicated, to my knowledge, even by Keith Richards). Our property is a veritable possum smorgasbord, between the compost heap, garbage can, and the thriving colony of snails after days of rain. For all I know, these guys are out there every night. Reports of Extreme Urban Wildlife are common these days; black bears are sunbathing in Jersey backyards and coyotes are ordering takeout on the Upper West Side. And possums are as common as cockroaches, it would seem; BestFriend encountered one holding its ground on the welcome mat in her apartment hallway in Queens. But you never forget your first opossum. (The Child is ready to go out into the dripping garden with a tray of cupcakes and a frilly bassinet for it.)