This morning, when I let my dog outside for his morning business, his stance went from the casual dog waiting for a treat, to an avid hunter, and he raced like a greyhound to the back corner of our yard. Before I could even scream his name, Stewy had captured and snapped the neck of an overweight and lethargic possum.
“STEWY! DROP IT!”, I screamed as I headed towards him. He looked up at me, with a mouth full of white fur, with confusion. Within his brain, hunting and killing this intruder was his job; however, I’ve been his master for his last 8 years, and he knows that he’s supposed to listen to me. His eyes darted from me, to the dead ball of fur, and I commanded again for him to “LEAVE IT!”. He bounded away from the possum, obviously proud of his deadly deed.
I’ve heard all the stories about “playing possum”, and so I cautiously approached it…. talking softly, to see if its eyes would move, and looking for signs of life. My scream from the back deck was too late, and my screams were too soft. Stewy: 1, Possum: 0.
When I returned to my office desk, I sent a text to husband telling him of Stewy’s murder, and two thoughts fluttered through my mind: First, my husband wouldn’t believe how big that possum was…. the size of a small dog, or a NYC rat…. and secondly, there are big vultures here in South Carolina, and I didn’t want them to have a picnic in my backyard. So, armed with my camera and a shovel, I returned to the back yard…..
….. to find the possum had indeed, played “possum”, and was now waddling towards our fence, to the safety of my neighbor’s dog-free backyard. Stewy: 0, Possum: 1, or should I say, Possum WON!
Sometimes our sobriety can be as sneaky as that wily possum! From afar, it looks easy to kill, but if you use the tools found within you, your sobriety can win against that predator. Who would have thought that a defenseless overweight possum would have safely waddled away? My dog was so confident in his energy, that he just assumed he won the fight. In fact, when he returned to the couch, I could tell in his stance that he truly thought he won.
Today, I vow to be like the possum. I am not going to pick a fight with the alcoholic monster that tries to destroy me: no, my life is more important than a single battle. The possum didn’t hiss and it didn’t “TRY” to out-smart the monster, it simply outsmarted him. The possum knew that if it stuck to its plan, the monster would get bored and leave, and if patient, the possum could return to safety. The possum lived to outsmart the next monster by using its resources.
Here is to the possum. Here is to Protecting Our Quit.
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