Friday, September 27, 2013

The Possum Story

When moving to our new house we saved the two outside storage areas at our old rental house for last. Mainly because they weren't sealed and we knew it was going to be nasty. There were all kinds of things living in there. We procrastinated as long as possible, but we had a team coming and we really needed our old, long, dining table that had been in storage for the past 5 years to be able to seat this team at our new house. 

Here is the table at our first ever rental house in Petén:
We only lived there a year because it was a little more expensive than we wanted to pay and it wasn't very secure. (Someone actually shattered those windows in this photo one time to get into our house.) It was the only place we could find though at first that wasn't filled with mold. (And it did not look like this when we moved in. We put a lot of work into that house just to move a year later!) Jimmy's brother Jon and his friend Kyle helped Jimmy build this table for us just so that we could host large groups at our home. 

For the past 5 years it had been in this outdoor bathroom (behind us in this photo from when I was pregnant with Jonah & Silas). Whoever installed the plumbing in that rental never hooked up this bathroom so we used it for storage and simply hung a curtain in front. At this rental we probably should have put more into fixing up the house, but we were trying not to make the same mistake twice, yet we ended up living there for 5 years. 
 One day Jimmy went over to our old house by himself to get the last of our stuff... to conquer this disgusting bathroom storage area. Here is his story:

"Knowing how many scorpions and large spiders we killed when we were living in this house, I was trying to be cautious as I moved things out of the closet slowly. It didn't take long for me to find my first scorpion, and it was a large one. As I was in the closet moving things around to try and kill the little bugger (with only one shoe on since I had one in my hand to squish the scorpion), Shelley called me. I stepped out of the closet to talk to her and as we were talking I saw a long tail duck behind the toilet in the closet/bathroom. I immediately knew it was a possum, so I hung up the phone and tried to figure out what to do. 

My thought was that the possum was more afraid of me than I was of him, but there was no way to scare him out of the room since the only way out was through the door towards me. I had a long hoe and slowly began pulling things out, while armed with my machete in the other hand. Finally I chased him onto a tarp we had in there, and yanked it out fast, pulling him out and then chasing him around to the side of the house.

Knowing there was one possum made me extra cautious in case there was a second possum maybe in the closet and sure enough, after a couple minutes of poking at things a second possum showed itself, except this possum was three times the size of the first, and mean! She started hissing at me and there was no way I was going to get her out. So I went next door and asked to borrow a gun. Of course, they had loaned their gun to a friend and didn't have it, but the teenager told me to be careful because a possum had just attacked him two months previously when it jumped off a wall onto him and started clawing and biting his chest and arm. Then he showed me his scars.

Well that did a lot to ease my thoughts, and Alex insisted on coming with me. I thought he was going to help, but instead he just came to watch the gringo fight with the possum. He was very jittery too, knowing that the first possum was somewhere in the yard...

Well the second possum wasn't budging, so I pinned her up against the wall with the hoe and killed her with the machete. This was where Alex helped by yelling, "Hit it again! Hit it again!" He was very concerned that the possum was just pretending to be dead and once I let go would proceed to attack us. I was imagining a scene from Monty Python with a white bunny...

Now having been splattered with possum blood and disposing of the carcass, I returned to the closet knowing that the scorpion was still in there somewhere too. Once again I entered with only one shoe after scanning with a flashlight to make sure there weren't any more critters. I lifted a board of the table and as I turned it around found my scorpion! I dropped the board pretty quickly and grabbed my shoe to kill him. I hit him real hard and saw him drop to the floor. Shining my flashlight on the ground by my feet I saw the dead scorpion lying on top of something furry...a third possum! 

This one became trapped when I fortuitously dropped the board on him! That was an easy kill since I had both hands free. 

It was one more scorpion and several large spiders later before I got the table out of the closet. At this point my nerves were shot and while I like to hunt, a machete is a very personal way to kill something and left me somewhat traumatized."

So my table is in my new house. Don't worry it has been Lysoled real good!
{I thought Becca would appreciate this gratuitous sweaty photo of her being posted again!}
We are planning on building a new table one day now that we know where to find better wood that won't warp over time, but until then I am very thankful for this one! 


  1. Good story!!! Todd HATES possums. He would rather burn the place down. Not sure if he could have killed it w/a machete. He did, however, smack a huge mama over the head a few times and bloodied her nose until she went under the fence. We had quite a laugh over that one. Life is just one big adventure!

  2. Oh, this is the best story ever ...... I'm laughing so hard ....


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