mercy Mags!

February 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm 1 comment

This is possumly the most pitiful little story you may ever here. (So be warned.)

One day last week I received a phone call around 4pm from Terry. From the time I answered the phone I could hear Maggie wailing in the background. Terry said to me, “Can you talk to Maggie please?”  “Well, sure,” I replied. He passed the cell phone over the backseat to our five year old. She was completely out of control. She was crying so hard, and gasping in between those cries that I could scarcely make out what she was trying to communicate. “Emmmmm(gasp)Emmmmmmm(gasp)emmMama?? Emmm(gasp)Emmmmmm(gasp). “Yes baby? What’s wrong? What is it?” I asked.


 “Maggie!? What’s wrong honey?”

 “There was uhhh, uhhhh, uhhhn animal and it was runned over errr errr err. And I wanted to sssststtopp. But Daddy said we COULDN’T help it because it was already d-d-dead. But I wanted to help it get b-bbetter!!!! Emmm-Emmm-Emmm-Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I immediately asked what kind of animal they’d seen. It was a POSSUM. Did Maggie care that it was a possum? Did she even GET IT that possums are sooooo YUK? No, folks. She didn’t. It was just as good as a kitten or a puppy to her. So, I went for another angle in explaining the “how comes” for why Daddy had refused to pull over and come to the possum’s aid. Did that work??

 “But MAMA! This just reminds me of the Bible story about the Good Samaritan where the mean men beat that one man up and left him for dead on the side of the road. And then the men that came by and saw the poor beat up man did not EVEN stop to see if he was dead or alive! They just went right past him and left him there! And he was hurrrrrrrrrrrt!!!!”

“Honey! The man who was beat up in that story was not dead!”

“Well, they didn’t know if he was dead or not!”

“A possum is not the same as a hurt PERSON. We would definitely stop and check on a hurt person!”

 But I wanted to help him!!”

I reiterated that the possum was dead, and that God was taking care of the possum now. I explained that we can not resuscitate dead possums. I explained and explained and explained. But on she wailed!

 Terry later told me (after I’d left work) that she continued that bawling and carrying on for a good thirty minutes. He said when they picked up Jessye from school, Maggie tried her best to convince him to go back to the site of the roadkill victim to show Jessye the poor possum. (No dice. Terry knew what she was up to.)

When I got home I went to Maggie to check on her.  She was watching Disney Channel in my bedroom. She had stopped crying and finally had gotten her wits about herself. She began to explain to me again about the possum. Finally it occurred to me how I might be able to turn the tide and perhaps stop the waterworks before she got cranked back up again: I had to play the danger card.

I told her that possums were not tame and friendly animals. They’re wild. (And they’re also stupid as all git-out, but I don’t think I told her that part.) I did tell her that they do not like to be picked up and held. And, they bite! And they carry disease! If we were to try and pick them up, then they would try to bite us and could give us a disease that might make us very sick or even kill us!) Again I explained that the possum that she and Daddy had seen was already dead, and that God knew how to help the possum. That possum does not hurt anymore. He is in a better place. (???)But, even if said possum had been alive, we still couldn’t have helped it because they’re just wild, biting, disease-carriers! 

“Daddy says they’re just like big ole’ rats.” 

“That’s right. Big ole rats!”  (Hhhhhhhhhh).

“What if it had been a kitten?”

 “A dead kitten?”

“Well no. A kitten who was mashed but still trying to move.” 

“Depends on how mashed we’re talkin’. If a kitten could still be helped; then yes.”

“What about a puppy?” 

“IF he could be helped, Maggie. Then yes!” 


 “Yes Maggie?”Good grief! What else can I say that I already haven’t said?  I think I may have exhausted all my resources! I don’t have a clue what else I can tell her except maybe, “Kid, we don’t doctor on roadkill. Move on!” Okay, so here goes. Yes? Yes, Maggie? What’s your next suggestion for how we should have handled this situation better? 


… … …“Mama,” Maggie said, “Can I have a snack? I’m soooo HAWNNNgry.”

“ABSOLUTELY!,” I rejoiced.  (Whewwwwww!)

Entry filed under: critters.

10.5 LBS. wisdom for those still wet behind the ears

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Melanie Gordon  |  February 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    That was a good one. Sounds like our Maggie. Aren’t you glad to see how innocent kids are sometimes? They see only good in everything, which means we have to be real cautious! A couple of summers ago we had to give Abby Grace a lesson on her not being afraid of anything and not picking up everything we see and putting it in our pockets!
    Next time it may not be a lizard; it just might be a snake!


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