The other morning, just before waking, I was having a very strange dream. I don’t remember most of it, so I have no idea what the context was. What I do remember is this:
It was night and I was outside my house. In the yard I discovered a dead possum. I squatted down to inspect it. It wasn’t gory or anything, just stiff and dead. For some inexplicable reason I picked it up and put it in the backseat of the car, perhaps to take it away from the house. I got in the car to drive away but before I could I remembered that sometimes possums… play possum. I had a flash of myself driving and then suddenly being attacked by the possum from behind.
I turned off the car, not having left, got out and took the still stiff possum out of the backseat. I placed it on the grass and started doing CPR on the critter. A few seconds into it the possum began to breathe. It slowly opened it’s eyes, and I was overjoyed at bringing it back from the dead. This is where it get’s weird.The possum didn’t behave like a wild animal. It rolled over onto its feet, and I started calling it to me like a dog. It came. I petted it on the head and then it rolled over and I began scratching its belly. About that time I woke up.
I think this dream may be partly inspired by an event from my childhood. When I was young, elementary school age, I had a similar experience with a possum. I was up early to catch the bus for school. It was still dark outside. In the yard I happened upon what appeared to be a dead possum. Being the demon that I was hatched a plan to punk my little sister with it, who was still fast asleep.
I picked the creature up. It was stiff as a board. I had no knowledge of the possum’s death mimicking reflex at the time. I carried it inside the house, and quietly entered my sister’s room. I positioned it next to her on the bed so that it would be staring at her. I then nudged her until she awoke. The high pitch and ear-shattering volume of the following scream shocked even me. It was so loud that it woke the dead.
The possum sprang to life, and began hissing at both of us. My sister climbed up the headboard like a terrified monkey, and I ran for my life out of the room.
I don’t remember much that happened after this. Perhaps I have repressed memories from the severity of the punishment I received. All I know is that my grandfather had a very unpleasant time capturing the beast and returning it to the wild. My sister was traumatized, and probably still suffers from the psychological scars that this left her with. For that I am sorry. Like I said, I was a demon child.
So, that’s my Possum Resurrection story. The moral of the story is don’t have kids. Possum’s are not easy to catch in the confined spaces of a bedroom, and psychotherapy is very expensive.