Opossum and the Apples

by Weam Namou

I often saw paw tracks on the snow covering our deck in the backyard. I assumed it belonged to the black and white cat that passed by every now and then. Feeling sorry for it in this cold winter weather, I threw four apples outside. I figured either the cat or the squirrels or birds would eat them.

A few days ago I saw an opossum chowing down the apples like there’s no tomorrow. He ate three of them, half of the forth one, and the next day came back and finished the other half. The thing about him is that he’s bold. He was not scared of my children knocking on the glass door.

In the Native tradition, when an opossum shows up, you are to check appearances. Are there people around you putting up false appearances? Is your attention being diverted? A possum teaches that it is sometimes better to hide our strengths and not to fight, but to divert attention and stay out of the fight. He also teaches to rest when needed, by playing dead.

While an opossum’s teachings are great, I don’t think I’ll be throwing out anymore apples into our backyard.