I don’t know how the critter got under our house, which is brick to the ground except for small screened vents that can barely accommodate a curious bug, much less a marsupial.
However it got there, it must have found enough bugs or worms or spiders to survive for a while, based on the amount of scat I ran across while crawling on my belly to replace the flexible duct that vents the dryer. The old one had been there for 30 years and had been poorly installed with a virtual upside down U-trap where they ran it up between the floor joists.
It was clogged with lint and had also fallen away from the connection to the dryer, which had been venting under the house for some time: no wonder the heating bill was so reasonable. Could the little varmint have come in through the plastic flaps on the dryer vent, which is ground level and didn’t have a screen (it does now)? Maybe.
However it got there, and however long it had been there, the miscreant eventually pulled a flexible duct hose away from the air handler, got into the ductwork, and learned how to push a plastic floor vent out of the way so it could get into the house.
I set out two small animal cage traps baited with tuna and peanut butter, but it was cagey enough to avoid getting caught.
I thought I had solved the problem by putting a brick over the vent, but not necessarily so. Susan and I went on a short hiking adventure, staying at a B&B near Pilot Mountain for a couple of days. Her son Patrick, who was house-sitting, called us at 4:15 a.m.
A possum was sitting on top of the toilet.
So much for the second B in “B&B.” We loaded up the car and watched the sunrise on the way home, where the uninvited guest was camouflaged nicely, hanging onto to an old gray bathrobe on the back of the door. He hardly complained when I pulled him loose and deposited him in a plastic bin Susan had waiting.
I took the freeloader for a short ride and released him into what looked like some possum-friendly woods. I hope it’s happy with the transition back to the great outdoors and all the possumbilities ahead of it.
It didn’t say. It just scampered off and disappeared into the greenery.
You probably know by now that we at Nurturing Faith are undergoing a transition of our own. Tomorrow marks the first official day of our merger with EthicsDaily to form Good Faith Media. The transition allows us to combine forces and resources, creating new possumbilities for us as well.
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Tony W. Cartledge is professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and is the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.