Nope, y'all, he's really dead.
Andrew found this poor fellow lying peacefully (well, except for the ants and flies that wouldn't leave his carcass alone) in our front yard on Friday.
He (Andrew, that is) ran inside to find me just like he used to do when he was a little boy. At first I thought he was trying to put something over on me but he assured me there was really "a great big old dead possum layin' up right in the middle of our yard."
It looked as though he had simply chosen that particular spot -- on our lawn! -- to lay down and die of whatever ailed him.
For verification that it would not be a complete waste of energy, not to mention precious brain cells (of which I have none to spare) to follow Andrew outside, I looked to Erica, who had trotted in on her brother's heels. Eyes wide, she nodded lugubriously in tacit endorsement of his claim, and I believed.
Of course I grabbed my camera! The tiniest burst of excitement occurring in or around my humble bailiwick must be faithfully captured because you never know who might need a good face-cracking yawn.
A perfunctory look-see from the considerable height of our front porch confirmed that while there was indeed a motionless gray animal with a pointy snout, prehensile claws (visible even from where I stood) and a long ropy tail situated on the grass, Andrew had partially exaggerated (NO! Andrew? It can't be ...). The possum wasn't all that big but he certainly was good and dead. He wasn't technically in the middle of the yard, either ... he was sort of up under the crape myrtle tree that adorns an area near the steps.
His body showed no signs of trauma as from being hit by a car or attacked by another animal. It looked as though he had simply chosen that particular spot -- on our lawn! -- to lay down and die of whatever ailed him.
I guess we'll never know what motivated the possum to choose our yard as his ersatz deathbed, or the factor(s) that contributed to his unfortunate and apparently untimely demise. We can only speculate.
Maybe he was simply tired of living.
It happens, y'all.
At any rate his (or her ... no, I did not get gender-curious) remains have been carted off to the garbage dump ... no proper burial coming when you walk on four legs and die on our property unless we have previously named you, I'm afraid. Also no possumtail stew is on the menu as we do not consume possum in any form in our family. We're what you might call picky eaters.
Only four pictures (click on his wee head to see the other three) remain to memorialize the possum's passing. Be forewarned that one is a closeup of his toenails.
Later when I showed TG the pics (on my small camera screen) because he hadn't been home at the time we made the discovery and held the impromptu postmortem photo shoot, he asked: "He wasn't just playing possum, was he?"
Nope. I'm afraid this here possum is history.
And that's a wrap.