The Varmintcam is perfect for capturing pictures of crows, squirrels, chickens, and the most unflattering views of Kevin and me I have ever seen. It’s either me bending over, or Kevin straining to lift something, or me picking my nose, or Kevin scratching that one part of him that always seems to itch. No matter what we’re doing, we always look fat.
Once, the camera caught him peeing in the woods, but that was a set-up.
What the Varmintcam doesn’t often catch is varmints. We’ve gotten some coyote pictures, and one good one of a raccoon’s rear end, but that’s been about it. So you can imagine my excitement when this one came up:
I have a special affinity for opossums, having had a stuffed one when I was a kid. From an adult vantage, it’s hard for me to imagine the meeting where the people at the stuffed animal company decided to make an opossum.
“How about a teddy bear?” one of them suggested.
“Nah, too cute and cuddly,” said another. “We want some realism here.”
So they went with a bad-tempered marsupial with scraggly fur and a long, hairless tail. I understand this was in addition to their line of maggots, slugs, and grubs.
However it came to be, I had a stuffed opossum. It was pretty dreadful to begin with, but after a few weeks its fur started coming out in clumps, so it looked like it was going through chemotherapy. Eventually it went completely bald.
Oddly, I remember it its being my favorite stuffed animal of all time. I named it, imaginatively, Pos, and carried it around with me until it was so shabby as to be unrecognizable. That was about forty years ago, so I can’t rely on my memory, but it seems to me that my childhood stuffed opossum looked remarkably like the one sniffing around the compost pile.
Some of the other stuffed animals that populated my childhood were a panda, an alligator, and my brother Aaron’s green pig, which my brother Jake and I used to stuff down Aaron’s baritone horn.
I don’t remember any teddy bears.