I was told a very amusing story tonight by my favorite Philly resident.
He said he was sitting on the front porch of his house last night when he saw this arrogant jackass of a guy who lives across the street and spends a lot of time yelling obscenities at passing cars and being a general dillhole. Corey, not being one to suffer fools gladly, was thinking dark thoughts about this guy's eventual fate when all of a sudden a big fat opossum ran out of nowhere and started attacking the jackass for no apparent reason. Corey said "Dude screamed like a little bitch and started trying to run away from it, but it was running after him, top speed, jumping up and biting him on his legs." So the guy jumped up on the porch of his house and climbed over the rail, but the opossum walked right through the bars... because he could. Then he resumed his attack. The guy had to jump off the porch and the opossum hung off the porch, hanging on to the rail with his tail and hissing in the guy's general direction.
Corey was vastly amused at how scared the guy was of the little furry opossum. I said "A possum can whoop a hurtin on you, son."
Have you ever seen one up close? It looks like a huge rat and they have long sharp teeth. Fangs even. They hiss. It ain't pretty.
I think that either the guy got too close to the opossum's babies, or the critter was rabid. The guy who got bit had better go to the hospital and get treated for rabies, because that's some serious business. He should have tried to catch the opossum so he could see if it was rabid.
The first time I saw a possum up close, I was 20 and I thought it was a huge rat. I was staying with my parents at their house and it was late at night. I looked out the window and saw this giant rat meandering around the driveway. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was like Sylvester the cat, when he met the kangaroo and thought it was a giant mouse.
I called my mom and said "Come look!!!!There's a gigantic rat in the driveway!!!!" She came up and laughed at me with a confused look on her face, because she couldn't believe I'd never seen one before. We're from Louisiana for Pete's sake. She said "That's not a rat, silly girl. It's a possum." You learn something every day.
My mom used to put dry catfood out for the neighborhood cats and we would sometimes watch through the sliding glass doors when racoons, possums, and skunks came up to eat the kitty bitties. That was pretty interesting. I scared a possum one night and saw it hiss. I was feeling brave though because I was on the opposite side of the glass doors. Raccoons are egg suckers and my mom has a ceramic chicken and a basket of ceramic eggs out on her porch. For awhile, the racoons kept running off with the eggs, but they would ditch the ceramic eggs part way down the yard when they realized they weren't real eggs. Eventually, they stopped falling for the old fake eggs routine.
Racoons don't see any sense in having ceramic eggs.
One night my mom went to check on her black and white cat who lived outside, and she thought he was in his nice warm bed that she had fixed for him. It turned out to be a skunk all curled up in there. She didn't get sprayed or bitten. She carefully eased back in the house.
Lots of wildlife around these here parts...