One of the many beautiful things about life at Seventy Seven Acres is the peace and quiet of the nights here. Often, all you can hear is the whisper of the wind in the trees, the croaking of frogs over at the pond, and perhaps the haunting cry of an owl…
… but not on this occasion.
I’m a light sleeper at the best of times, but this had been enough to drag Matt from his deep and dreamless repose. I know, because when I said, “What was that?” or words to that effect, he said “snffndon’know…”
If, as my immediate thoughts had brought to mind, an enraged, escaped bull had burst through our living room door, then it had now gone suspiciously quiet.
My heart was pounding and all my senses were poised ready for fight or flight, but my breathing was slowly coming back to normal.
Logic told me that it couldn’t be an enraged, escaped bull – nor, my second choice, a steam train – so I slipped out of bed and went to investigate. Cautiously. In case it was an enraged, escaped bull, and was wondering what to do next.
The moon lent a pale, shadowy light through the window, revealing little in the way of bulls or steam trains. In fact, all was quiet. I continued into the kitchen-family room, but all was still there, too.
I know I didn’t imagine it. My dreams do tend to be highly realistic, but don’t usually impinge on Matt’s consciousness (apart from the time I tried to rescue him from a helicopter that was about to land on our bed – well, I was convinced it was, anyway, when I tried to pull him out of the way).
I shrugged, and wandered back towards the bedroom, and had got as far as the door when something strange registered on my consciousness.
I padded back down the corridor.
“Will you look at that!” I said. Perhaps a bit more explosively than was absolutely necessary.
“Wha..?” came a bleary voice from the bedroom.
I laughed – because what else can you do? – and Matt appeared groggily, carrying a torch, which he proceeded to shine through the glass door.
Instead of a peculiar shadow, I could now see a possum clinging desperately to the door frame and regarding us with startled eyes. When it shifted position, its claws scraped loudly on the fly screen. Not quite like the enraged, escaped bull sound but with certain recognisable qualities. I can only imagine that what we had heard was the possum flinging itself against the door frame, leaping over the pot of mint to get a good purchase high enough off the ground to feel safe. From what I could not say, although we do have foxes and owls in the vicinity.
Good luck to them actually catching this possum though. Well, they might catch it easily enough, but carrying it off afterwards could be a problem. As you can see, he – or perhaps, she – is quite a chubby little animal. Well fed. Mostly on our veggies, enjoying a sweet tidbit of new rose plants for dessert.
A little gentle persuasion later, Chubs lowered him – or her – self to the ground in a dignified manner and waddled off into the darkness. Probably to munch on our roses again.
Sadly, my camera also objected to being woken up in the wee small hours of the morning and could only be persuaded to take one picture. Just as the possum looked away. So, instead of the rather sweet face of our midnight visitor, you see a headless rendition that reminded me of a certain well known Australian picture book. I didn’t think I had any lamingtons on hand, though, so I just had to resign myself to finding the new buds nipped off the roses again come the morning.
We’ll get there. I’m sure we’ll reach a compromise.
Like, I’ll fence off my veggie patch (and roses), but maybe leave out some fruit (or lamingtons) for Chubs.
I just hope he won’t make a habit of impersonating enraged, escaped bulls in the middle of the night. Once was enough.