A True Story and Real Life Dilemma


The following is a true story. By the time this is posted, I will have added a photo. For now, the story is more important:

Early in our camping experience last summer, my granddaughter and I heard my Jack Russell Terrier barking and came upon a baby opossum peeking out from behind our generator bin. It was frightened and clearly a bit young to be wandering around on its own.
I called the dog off and she scampered out of sight. (I say “she” because Nature makes females a bit more sturdy and independent early on. I will never know her true gender but my guess is an educated one.)
She appeared once more that day around our log splitter. This uncharacteristic sighting made me snap a photo and assume “something” had happened to her mother. When I told my husband, he said he had seen a dead baby opossum in the nearby bushes, the day before. Seems my “guess” had more legitimacy after that.
It was Sunday, and we were hours from leaving for home. I had learned from other lessons of interfering with Nature, that my human instinct to “get involved” was not always wise for either the wild animal or for my heart. I felt I just HAD to give her a chance. She had survived, so far, and although I could not take responsibility for her, I didn’t have to all-together turn my back.
Just before I left, I took a large handful of dry dog food and piled it, undercover, near the generator bin. With a heavy heart, I went home.
The next week, the dog food and opossum were gone.
I thought of her often throughout the summer. I also accepted the “not knowing” of what happened to her a mixed blessing.
Around the middle of October, my dog came strutting back to my campsite with a prize catch. My heart sank! He had caught and killed a juvenile opossum. It was from under the place where I had, months before, left the dog food. Even this moment, my heart is racing and my stomach is turning at the telling of an “almost” triumphant tale.
I have little doubt that the opossum was the orphan I had met in June. She HAD survived but had not learned enough to continue to survive.
This winter’s harshness has made me consider her violent end a possible blessing against the option of freezing or starving. Without a mother, her instincts may not have well prepared her.
The moral of this story, that I hold on to, is that I HAD cared. That I HAD tried to help. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have done more and that I really need to let go of the heart-sickening guilt I keep revisiting.
There would be those who would say, “You didn’t care or do enough.”
I would beg to differ.
The sick feeling in my stomach while writing this is still there.
I also had asked myself a number of questions. Here’s a few:
Can I find her in time?
Is her mother temporarily trapped in a dumpster and might she return?
How could I safely capture and transport her in the same car as my dog?
Would I really be offering her a better life by interfering?
Would my husband’s opinions on my decision matter?
Is there a law against bringing wild animals into a day care setting?
Would the Animal Hospital accept her?
How terrified would she be in all this?
Yes…I DID care deeply but I knew that caring didn’t give me the “right” to affect absolute changes nor did it protect me from possibly doing more harm than good.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope in telling this story, “little opossum’s”, AND my dilemma, speaks to you.
Don’t forget…I also may be wrong in my conclusion that every sighting of an opossum was the SAME opossum. And that my friends, is where hope lives.

My Hero

Daily Prompt: Heroic

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?


When I was five years old, Zorro (portrayed by Guy Williams) was my hero. He was a “righter”of injustices and defender of the weak.

I chose to write on this topic because I felt, Zorro, might be a controversial choice of a modern 5-year-old.

Primarily, the complaints would come from those who dislike the idea of violent images offered to our kids. Parents cringe about “armed” heroes, yet, I believe they are missing the message and ought to consider the moral fiber of fictional (and real life heroes ) with, as much, immediate concern. My former blog post “The Blind Eye”, was about apathy and fear in the face of trouble. This topic seems a fitting continuation of my point.

My heart still quickens at the thought of “Zorro to the rescue” and I really have no memory of him ever hurting anyone. He may have…but, my 5-year-old self certainly did not internalize the violence at all. What I remember most is that people “with power” can be good or evil and the good one’s are heroic only when they take action and risks. Zorro was also labeled a “public enemy” by those “evil” powerful folks who feared his interference in their corrupt and greedy agendas.

I believe that the pen is truly “mightier than the sword” and Zorro, if transported to 2014, would probably be a political blogger. A mighty dashing one, at that! lol

More than any time, ever before, there are medias that allow us to “take a stand” and to expose corruption. Fear of labels, cannot hold the bravest of us back, either. Touche’!


Random Word Story # 15~Finding Hymn

Two young Nokota mares
Two young Nokota mares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Random words generated at creativitygames. net

When I don’t have a particular post to write about, I enjoy a random set of words to stir my creativity. I have a category devoted to these stories.

Today’s words are:

gang…cloak…hymn…joint…radar…masking tape

Here’s my story:

The driver side window whistled as Dillon drove along the country road at a speed, far beyond, the speed limit. He  reasoned that the country cops wouldn’t even have radar since he thought of them as hillbillies with bare feet and IQs of 20. If he had used duct tape to repair the window, it would have been okay.  But he’d only found masking tape in the trunk. That was not going to hold. Dillon made a note of this and vowed to add duct tape to his burglary kit.

This whole hazing wasn’t sitting well with him either. The open fields and tranquil setting of the farmland, was slowly having an effect on him. Stealing the car, on behalf of the gang, seemed like fun while in the city, but now, the idea of losing his freedom was unsettling. His surroundings reeked of what he would be missing, if he were captured.

At first, the adrenaline rush he’d experienced was awesome. Now, nerves and regret were closing in on him. Dillon reached into his pocket for the pin joint he’d rolled earlier. Yes, a little smoke would calm him.

As he tried to light it, the tape gave way and the weed went out of the , now open, window. His baseball cap followed.

Dillon took his foot off of the gas. He considered turning around but there was no way he’d find the joint now. The cap wasn’t even his. He let the Pontiac Firebird come to a stop on its own.

The 16-year-old got out and just stood there. The sun  covered him in a cloak of warmth he’d almost forgotten existed. It was like a hug, comforting and firm, yet not at all unkind.  No punch in the gut followed. He lifted his face and felt a phantom kiss on his cheek.

Dillon was hopelessly lost.

Standing beside the road was an old  horse. There was no one in sight on any of the roads that he could view from his position. Meadows with waving grasses were all he could see.

“Where am I?” He whispered to himself.

The horse lifted its head and gave a snort of “hello there”.  Dillon didn’t know that horses snorted. Didn’t they say ” neigh” on “Old MacDonald’s Farm” ? He cautiously approached the animal.

“Wow, you’re big dude. Wouldn’t happen to have some grass on ya?”  Dillon chuckled for a moment at his clever pun.

He reached his hand over the fence and stroked the animal’s face. It snorted again and he jumped back.

“Listen, I won’t hurt you if you won’t eat me. That a deal big dude?”

It dawned on him, that he no longer was worried about the cops, his gang or anything. The peace that he was wrapped in, right there, right then, was better than any “high” he’d ever felt. Then, he squeezed under the barbed wire and stood beside the beast. It was huge and powerful, yet gentle and friendly. The horse’s pasture was at the bottom of the steepest hill and Dillon decided to climb it so he could see the whole valley.

He patted the  Old Gray fellow and, as he did, a layer of dust filled his nostrils.

“C’mon Dusty, let’s have a look.”

At the top, he sat for a long time. As Dusty grazed beside him, an old hymn, his grandma used to sing, came to mind. It filled his head…

“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.”

It was in his grandmother’s lap he had heard these words. Remembering them, was as surprising to him as the horse’s gentleness. Strength without anger…power without hurt.

Dillon walked through the night. He was feeling wonderful, no longer afraid of anything. He struggled to remember when, exactly, being afraid had become a constant inside of him.

When daylight broke he hitchhiked into the city. He had already decided that he was going to get his belongings and return to that pasture. Dillon wanted something. He had a goal to work on a farm , if  not that one, any farm. The gang would never miss him and certainly would not find him.

His only concern, now, was that the farm would have horses.


Consider Nursery Rhymes

The deficiency our  kids were having when it came to recognizing classic Nursery Rhymes was allieviated, some, when the movie Shrek came out. Thanks to that movie, kids are asking about Humpty Dumpty, and the gang, who remain frames of reference in our culture. Humpty Dumpty started as a political cartoon and still holds a message of which educated Americans are aware.

Laying a cultural education is a primary duty of preschool teachers and parents. I realized that one of my day care kids had never seen the Wizard of Oz by age 8. We made a date and watched it together. The same day care friend had a movie date with me at age 16 to watch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

There are icons in our culture that should not be overlooked. Subjects,themes and morals crop up in daily life and being familiar with them, makes one truly educated and “in the loop”.  Jack Sparrow, from Disney, reintroduced pirates to childhood. Lots of kids had no reference for them in the previous years.

If you are interested in the well-rounded and fanciful education of a young child, do consider the Mother Goose classics.

Secondhand Lions

I wanted to share a clip from one of my all-time favorite movies.  Of course, my all-time favorite actor is Robert Duvall.

If I were to have to choose watching movies that contain one common actor, they would be all those with Robert Duvall.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Secondhand Lions
  • Lonesome Dove

If you have not had the opportunity to see all these films, I highly recommend them!

Toy Fads From My Childhood Days

Should have been a cowboy…

Ride’m Cowboy

There is no doubt where my ideals came from when you realize how “big” the cowboy and western culture was when I was a kid.

My grandparents sent me a shiny metal pair of six-guns (cap guns)in a black leather double holster for my 6th or 7th birthday. The finely tooled leather sported the knight chess piece emblem from “Have Gun Will Travel”. (Wish I still had them today!)

They were heavy and looked real! I don’t believe I have ever felt more awesome than when I buckled on those peace-makers. The smell of leather and sulfur still make goosebumps.

Most of my heroes were male since females, in those days, were portrayed as weak and vain.

I never thought of hurting anyone with those guns. I find the present culture is blaming guns for violence when they might due well to focus the blame on the break down of the family unit and the crumbling morality in this culture. There are “good guys” and “bad guys” whether it is politically correct to say it or not.

Larry the Cable Guy said it best,” If guns can be blamed for killing people then my pencil can be blamed for bad spelling.”

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