A few years ago, I was sleeping in Chris' bottom bunk bed in the back bedroom while everyone was out of town. (I can't remember why, but I can remember that I was really happy when a big earth quake struck and I felt nice and safe in that bottom bunk.) One night I turned out the lights, got in bed and got all settled in. Then I felt a movement under my pillow. I jumped up, turned on the lights and lifted the pillow. There was the smallest opossum I had ever seen not clinging to his mommy, looking up at me. I'd estimate he was about 2 inches long, not counting that tail. I got a box, put him in it and went back to bed.
The next morning he was gone from the box. I was pretty impressed that he had managed that feat, and I wasn't worried about him roaming around the bedroom as I kept the sliding glass doors open all the time so he could have gone outside, and I was so used to living with the 'possums that they didn't bother me. (One big old guy would take grapes out of my hand.)
But that night when I went to bed, you can bet I checked under that pillow before I turned out the lights and got in bed. I was getting all settled in when I felt a movement down by my feet! Again I jumped out of bed and turned on the lights. When I lifted the comforter at the bottom of the bed, there he was---looking up at me with this absolutely astounded expression. I realized that he simply couldn't comprehend the size of any creature that could stretch clear from the pillow to the extreme other end of the bed. He thought that he had surely picked a spot that was safe and that we could at least share this comfy setup.
I put him in his box again, but after he escaped the second time, I didn't see him again (that I know). He might have been one of the guys that ate the cat food on the shelf outside the bathroom window when he got bigger. Or he might have finally found a place in the bed that I never discovered!
TRUE ANIMAL STORIES
Not that big a deal, but fun to tell when they happen to you!
I was cleaning the back porch one day not too long ago, and I decided to move a small empty box that was about a foot square and 4 inches deep. I toted it out to the trash area, but set it on the ground instead of just throwing it away because one never knows when one is going to need a nice little box. As I set it down, I felt a movement inside. I lifted the lid and stared down at this pretty good-sized snake that filled that little box! I hope his heart didn't race as fast as mine did. He had a good bulge in his tummy, so he had recently eaten and was probably lethargic while digesting his dinner. I moved the box into the shade until he could escape. When I looked an hour later, he was gone from the box. Fortunately, I didn't see him again.
When I told my next door neighbor about it, he said he wondered where that snake he had brought home from a job site had gone.
Thanks a lot for the warning, buddy.
ANOTHER TRUE STORY
HOLLYWOOD IS TO BLAME
When Chris was in kindergarten, we lived in Pedley, a rural suburb of Riverside. (When we drove down our driveway, we passed the neighbors' horse corral.) Lots of critters visited us.
One day I looked out of the kitchen window and saw Chris standing by the trash incinerator (we actually burned our paper trash then), frozen in place, scared of something. I ran out to see what the problem was and saw the biggest tarantula I had ever seen just 4 feet away from him. I knew they could jump a long way. I knew they were deadly. (I'd been going to movies for a long time.) I was as scared as Chris, but I was going to protect my baby. I told him to stand still and not make a sound. (If he could have done either, I'm sure he would have been long gone, screaming his head off.) I was able to edge over to a big chunk of cement that had held a clothesline pole in place and pick it up. I threw it at the tarantula, but missed.
Then I had to get even closer to the tarantula to pick up the cement piece again. If that tarantula had moved, I probably would have fainted. The second time I was closer and I really smushed that spider. Chris's eyes were big as saucers.
Of course, I later found out that tarantulas are not the fiends that Hollywood has made them out to be. And my kid has an absolutely horrible fear of spiders.
If you enjoy stories about animals, I suggest you read the series of books written by retired English veterinarian James Herriott, starting with All Creatures Great and Small. You will laugh in one chapter and cry in the next.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not me and my dog- I never wear skirts. (My dogs are bigger than my cats, and my cats are bigger than this dog.)