The Possum Zombie Apocalypse Will Be My Fault

I really am not sure if I should tell this story. It makes me seem like a terrible, horrible, cruel person. And I am not a terrible, horrible, cruel person. I just caused a possum to have a horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad death.

One evening, the hubby and sons were off at some activity and I had to do chores. As I peeked into the chicken coop, I was greeted by an ugly, nasty critter  wandering on the floor below irate hens.

With no shooting lessons from the hubby, I had to select a different weapon…ummm….I looked around.

Rock?

Brick?

Metal fence post?

Shovel?

Pitchfork!

I grabbed a pitchfork with 5 tines, speared the hissing possum and carried it outside. At first, it appeared that my initial stab was enough to kill it. I pushed the tines into the dirt and left to feed hay to the cattle.

I came back a few minutes later, and my fear was confirmed. The possum was still alive.

My next best option? (In hindsight, this really is as stupid as it sounds.) The pickup.

I moved the possum onto the gravel path and pulled the pitchfork out of the poor creature. I got into the pickup and drove over it. Upon inspection, the “roadkill” appeared to be dead.

I went back to finish cattle chores then came back to look at the possum one more time. To my great dismay, I could see it breathing. Arghhhh! What was supposed to be a quick death for a varmint was turning into torture.

I picked up the pitchfork, took a deep breath and stabbed the critter again. This time, I got it right and the possum died immediately. I performed a quick burial and finished chores.

Since that time, I got a shooting lesson from hubby. It went poorly. The milk jug filled with water escaped unharmed. This means I am still without a humane critter-disposal option.

Fortunately, word seems to have gotten out on the possum grapevine. It has been a few years since one of those nasty, hissing, ugly, un-charming creatures has paid a visit to the pets or chickens.

This post is my way of apologizing in advance. If there is ever a possum-zombie apocalypse, it is my fault. Be sure to have your torches and, uh, pitchforks ready.

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About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at http://aldersonangus.wordpress.com.
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8 Responses to The Possum Zombie Apocalypse Will Be My Fault

  1. Loved this, especially as I have been considering my weapons against rat-like invaders…

    • jheem says:

      Thanks! I don’t like having to deal with critters, but out here in the country, I don’t really have a choice. I just hope that the dog keeps most of them away before I have to deal with them 🙂

  2. It will not be your fault alone. I have had to deal with lovely possums using our feed conveyors as treadmills. The last one I faced was trying to take over the barn cats milk bowls in the hay loft. And a pitchfork was the only available option so…..

  3. The pitchfork handle would be better than the tines. To quote 90’s sci-fi, their heads make a very satisfying thump. I used a trash can lid once in a very similar situation. I made the lid mostly round again and it is still protecting chicken feed.

    Put some time in with that gun. It’s bad enough to be out in the middle of the night, up to your ankles in mud wearing your pajamas to protect your chickens. It just adds insult to injury if you miss.

    For years I was happy with a single-shot .22. But there was this one night. One late night. I heard something outside. Something in my corn wagon. Something stealing my corn. Well, that will not be tolerated. Single-shot in hand, pocket full of .22 rounds I step outside. In my left hand I cradle the gun and I’m holding a flashlight so I can see what’s going on. My right hand is ready to lock the bolt and fire. I step quietly toward the shed…I can hear him…What a racket! A head pokes up. It’s a raccoon…maybe the one who tried to dig through my roof to get into my kitchen…an act that went unnoticed until that rainstorm fell on the oven. I take a shot. Three more heads poke up. I quickly reload. A total of 17 raccoons were eating dinner. My single-shot wasn’t up to the challenge.

    I now have a Ruger 10/22. I love that gun. I rarely use it. I rarely miss with it. But that next round and the 8 more that follow are right there when I need them.

    Lost 27 chickens in one night to a mink. The next night I caught him. He had a chicken by the neck. Total hostage situation. One shot. Saved the hen. One more shot just for spite. A pitchfork could not have saved the bird.

    There are few critters around to dig holes in my roof these days and not because I went on a murderous rampage. Instead, I found a gentleman who wants to trap. And trap he does.

    Sorry for leaving such a long comment. Just wanted to offer you some support. No part of this is fun, really. But it is part of the farming deal.

    • jheem says:

      Thank you for the advice and support. Yes, I do need to get more serious about learning to shoot properly. I have been lucky so far that the biggest critters to raid the place have been raccoons and possum. if something bigger gets close, I’ll definitely need more than a pitchfork.

  4. June Hilbert says:

    Loved this! One of my first adventures as “the city girl who married the farmer and moved to the country” was encountering a snake in the yard. My husband was gone overnight on a work trip which left me to be the executioner. (Murphy’s Law of the Farm: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong when the farmer is away!) No way was I going to be the “greenhorn city girl damsel in distress” and call a neighbor! Wasn’t sure whether or not the snake was venomous but didn’t want our Golden Retriever to tangle with it, just in case. The hoe I found had a five foot long, one-half inch diameter galvanized steel pipe handle—indestructible! When I raised the hoe and slammed it down on the snake, no blood spurted out. The hoe blade was dull!

    The snake was pinned to the ground, writhing and hissing! I couldn’t lift the blade and risk being bitten. So I sawed back and forth until all movement stopped. Then I cautiously lifted the hoe up and bludgeoned that snake deader than dead! Official cause of death: blunt force trauma.

    When my husband returned home, I complained about the dull hoe blade. When he looked at the hoe, he discovered the indestructible galvanized steel pipe handle had a huge curve in it!

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