One evening when I was about 10 years old, my mom went out onto our apartment balcony to shake out the dust mop. The mop head fell off so she went down the two flights of steps to the yard to grab it. She didn't have her glasses on and it was getting dark so she reached for the gray blur on the ground by her feet. It was an opossum. It hissed, she screamed, and I will remember that for the rest of my life.
Having lived for many years in the north east and then the south, I've become quite familiar with opossums. When I moved to Montana, I was surprised to learn there aren't any here. I found this out when I told my new co-workers one of my favorite jokes, "Why did the chicken cross the road? Opossum said it couldn't be done. ", and no one got it. My boyfriend was born and raised in Montana, so he has never seen a opossum in real life. When we traveled to New York to visit some of my family a couple years ago, I was convinced we we see one at some point but we never did. I even glanced at roadkill as we drove by but no luck. A few months later, my step-mom sent me a care package which contained my favorite cupcakes and SURPRISE, a stuffed opossum. I found it to be a really funny thoughtful gift-I'm sure it wasn't easy to find.