As I prepared to go to sleep the other night, B hurriedly runs up the stairs to our room and excitedly says: “I finally understand what they mean when they say ‘Play possum!’ ” After nine years of marriage this man can still intrigue me out of my sleep with his non-sequiturs and excited ramblings.
He grabs two cameras and dashes out the door with barely an explanation. Fifteen minutes later I am still standing by our window, peering into the dark street wondering if B has caught an opossum. Perhaps the opossum caught him?
Finally he returns and explains that while walking Jack he spotted the critter. The opossum comically played dead, but bared its teeth. (Hence, the moment of enlightenment.) B lifted the stiffened animal by its tail and took it to the light for a better view. He then proceeded to photograph and video tape it.
Here is what I want to know: Why does a grown man, in the middle of the night, chase an opossum, closely exams it, and then returns to the scene to document it? I think the answer lies in the fact that no matter his age, B will always have a child-like wonder of the world he lives in.
And nature, thankfully, humors his harmless curiosity.
January 6, 2010