March 1, 2011


This evening just as dusk was coming on I went out to close the chickens up in the coop for the night. Ruby and Moby escorted me out as usual. As we came out to the yard in front of the pole barn there was a opossum minding his own business, rooting his pointy nose through the grass searching for a snack.

Ruby immediately charged toward it, spouting off a volley of warning barks, her muscles taught and set for attack mode. I yelled at her to “leave it” and she obeyed my command. Moby was running right behind her at top speed, barreling up to the opossum like a defensive linebacker on a quarterback. He tackled the opossum bowling him over three times. I yelled at Moby to leave him alone and surprisingly enough he did. The opossum hissed at him and made no attempt to move on.

Ruby and Moby followed me back to the chicken coop and I hoped that while we were there the opossum would hightail it into the woods as fast as a opossum can go. It would be better if we didn’t encounter him again when we headed back to the house. I hurriedly did my chores in the chicken coop, because I wasn’t sure how long Ruby or Moby would hold my command to leave ol’ pointy nose alone.

When I peeked out the coop door there was Ruby with her faithful side kick Moby walking side by side down the back pasture. When I was finished I called them and they came running to follow me back to the house, but uh oh, ol’ pointy nose hadn’t taken the hint to get out of Dodge and was in the same place we had left him.

Moby puffed up to twice his size and stiffly bounced up to the opossum’s nose. The opossum hissed but held his place. Moby didn’t attack this time but I think he gave ol’ ‘possum puss a few ultimatums. I called once more for him to leave it alone and he left it to follow us into the house.

The old opossum must have had a few previous battles in his life because he had the distinct limp of an old veteran as he ambled off up the hill. I don’t really like having him around and I know he comes through every night, but I couldn’t let him be torn apart by Ruby and Moby. Besides I don’t want Ruby to get too brave for her furry britches and think she can take on every wild animal she comes across. That’s a good way for her to get hurt or worse.

On the other hand Moby is a cat full of courage… or maybe it’s just stupidity… I’m not sure which. Maybe he attacked a wild creature that was his size or bigger to protect his best friend Ruby. Either way I will have to watch him the next time a nocturnal marauder comes through the farm. I just hope my fuzzy bodyguards don’t come across a skunk.

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