|Tonight we sat in our small, cut-out of the ghetto backyard wonderland. As I eased back into my discount easy-plastic-chair I noticed a movement from the trees. It was in the corner pine tree actually -the sad little tree that had been overcome with thick layers of English Ivy when we first moved into the house. The branches still lingering towards the mid-to-top of the tree have always looked a bit too weak to support any real tree crawling wild life.
I walked towards it – curious. The first thing I saw was the limb-like thin tail that cupped the aging pine below it. Then -so slowly- a somewhat shaggy body appeared from the branches above. A very scruffy creature moved into the glow of the tiki-torches and stared us down. This was a possum and he was very much: I am the marsupial of this American landscape bitches! (I have to wonder why all of our local wild life are so taken with calling us bitches. It simply must be the neighborhood.)
I respected his quiet battle cry right from the beginning. I watched, nearly mesmerized by how well he used his tail to move down the small tree next to the antique evergreen. He was mostly white with large patches of gray/yellow moving through his fur. He gave us a direct stare and said -with this silent conversation- “why yes, I’m an ugly, scavenger sort to your untrained eyes, but I am a KING in my world.”
Frederick the Fruit Fly Slayer
|I noticed the other day there was a large web at the bottom of the stairwell leading into the basement. Sitting in it was a strange looking spider I wasn’t terribly familiar with species wise. It had extremely long thin legs, a very small head and a large oval shaped butt that almost looked like pale silver. His web was filled with tiny little web balls that I assume belonged to the random fruit fly that wanders from the basement where the recycling bin for bottles is. I gave it a nod of approval for helping with the fruit fly battle.
As I was heading upstairs I suddenly heard the thundering intro to Iron Man. I quickly moved to look down the stairwell again and witnessed this strange spider in full attack mode. He was rolling his catch into a dinner cocoon with his bottom two legs while he enthusiastically played air guitar with his upper two legs. He looked at me and said in his spider voice (which was, honestly, far louder than I thought that body could produce) “I’m Frederick the fruit fly slayer bitches! Dun dun dun dun dun, dunadunadunaduna dun dun dun…”
I smiled and quietly gave him devil signs with my hands and headed back upstairs. I’m not sure where he’s hiding his stereo but thankfully I’ve only had to tell him to turn his Black Sabbath down a few times. We have been blessedly fruit fly free.
is copyright 2015 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.