Paddy Possum’s Pilgrimage

IMG_2880 (1)Theoretically, I’d be reflecting on adventures to far away places for Travel Tues- day, but Stephen’s using my travel computer while he’s waiting for his car to be -1repaired, so I can’t tell you about Aunt Catfish until Thursday…which is the day I usually try to write kid-friendly nature stories. So, I’ve decided to swap around   IMG_1881my stories today & tell you about  Paddy Possum’s pilgrimage. Although I’ve seen pictures of opossums since I was a girl, the only real live possum I’d ever seen IMG_2890outside a zoo (before a few days ago) was a real dead possum by the side of the road. Which is to say, possums are nocturnal…IMG_2011and…being a bird may be tough, but I think being a possum may be tougher. For instance, have you seen your friendly neighborhood possum any time IMG_1944recently? If you live near any wooded area in temperate U.S. or parts south, you very likely do have opossum neighbors, but they’re not the least bit sociable and Wiki Commonsavoid public appearances. If you try to be friendly with them, they’ll hiss at you,* and if that doesn’t drive you away, they’ll faint on the spot.Wiki Commons They are drama queens extraordinaire!*IMG_1901At any rate, the other day I saw this brave little fellow trying to decide whether or IMG_1930not to go from wooded shore to wooded shore across a very intimidating stretch  IMG_1947of waterfront. It’s bad enough to be nocturnal and hate the lime light, but all the IMG_1948animals in our neighborhood have heard rumors of an evil German shepherd who lurks inside a giant doghouse…and eats little possum pilgrims for lunch. IMG_1908On this particular morning, Paddy Possum decided to make a run for it! IMG_1952So, out he came from his snug burrow under the woodpile and into the open!IMG_1879It was really slow going because the snow was so deep, so instead of running, IMG_1942 he had to jump, hop and flop as his paws would sink deep into the snow. IMG_1925Even though he was wading and waddling as fast as his little legs could go, IMG_1928it took him an excruciatingly long time, and he had to pass by many dangers! IMG_1884At long last he made it to the edge of the woods, dragging his cold tail behind! IMG_1934What a scary adventure that must have been for a timid little possum! IMG_1981There were some beautiful bluebirds flitting about the bird feeder that same IMG_1974morning, and I couldn’t help but think about the ease with which they fly across IMG_1992our snowy stretch of waterfront. I wonder if Paddy Possum ever wishes he could IMG_1898 be a bluebird soaring through the air instead of a cat-sized critter working so  IMG_1909hard to make his pilgrimage from thicket to thicket, traveling on stubby legs… IMG_1918 just barely able to keep his little pink nose above snow level. IMG_1940I know there have been plenty of times when I’ve floundered thru deep snows IMG_1973and wished I could soar above it all like a bluebird singing in the treetops. IMG_1943Thankfully, whether we’re up to our neck in trouble and scared to deathIMG_2027or having a relatively easy time of it, we can know that God is with us. IMG_1919He sees us, knows us, understands, and guides us on our pilgrimage thru life. IMG_1922He will keep us thru all the possumbilities and will lead us to a joyful end.

“O LORD, thou has searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downstitting and my uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways…If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me…Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139:1-3,8-10,23-24).

(* These two pictures, the one with the young possum hissing the other of the possum playing dead, are from Wiki Commons.)

2 thoughts on “Paddy Possum’s Pilgrimage

    1. Yes, they’re right outside. In northeastern U.S., we just call them “bluebirds,” but technically, they are of the genus Sialia of the thrush family: “Eastern Bluebird,” Sialia sialis They love open spaces, so during the summer they are usually down by our field, but in the winter they’ll come to the bird feeder in search of food!

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