Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Possum Tale

There is no way that high school administrators make enough money for what they do. And, truth be told, I probably have no actual idea of what all our administrators REALLY do all day, but I know they more than earn their money.

I'm hoping our new assistant principal is working on a book. She graduated from our school, worked as a teacher there for many years, and now is an assistant principal. She keeps me laughing with the occasional anecdote that she can share.

Our principal is a large, burly, teddy-bear sort of guy that the students adore but don't cross. Today he added a new skill to his resume - possum catcher. My classroom is on the first floor and on the front of the building which faces our football practice field. My first block came in all excited and wanted to know if I'd seen the possum on the field. Of course I hadn't and they called me over to the window to look. Sure enough, there was a hungry little possum wandering in small circles in the fenced in practice field. He appeared to be eating grubs or bugs out of the grass. (This is again, another random internet possum in the photo.)

We watched him for a few minutes as he continued making his little circles, never really going anywhere. They're a good class, though, and we finally settled back into Act 3 of Julius Caesar. It wasn't too long before I saw our principal and a SWAT team of custodians head out there. He had a large green plastic trash can and put it over the possum. I couldn't figure out what the point of that was unless they were going to slide something under it and then move him. But then he pushed the can over and out came the possum again, moving in circles.

He picked up the trash can and tried to encourage the possum to go inside. Possum was not interested. Possum backed up. After a few minutes of this, a helpful PE student walked over with a tennis racket and nudged the possum into the can. Mission accomplished, they set the can at the edge of the parking lot where I assume the plan was to take him down near the river and release him (our school is no more than five minutes from the Red River).

We settled back into Caesar. And then the rains came. It rained and thundered for an hour before somebody decided the possum might drown in that can. I looked out the window and saw a custodian walk out there with an umbrella and move Mr. Possum under the breezeway.

I don't know what ever happened to him. By the end of the day the can, and the possum, were gone.

I never had a chance to ask about him; the next time I saw our assistant principal she was headed off to deal with some kids who had decided to wear Swine Flu protective masks to school as a prank, thereby causing a panic among some of their classmates who had flooded the office to check out and go home in order to avoid the flu.

Like I said, I could never be an administrator. I'll just stay in my room and teach Julius Caesar until the day I retire!


S.logan said...

"Possum was not interested. Possum backed up." hahaha!

Love the story! Nothing furry ever showed up at my high school, sadly. Nor did we read Julius Ceasar. I think I need a do-over!

Anonymous said...

I want to know what happenned to the possum. You can't tell a story like that and then leave us hanging.

S.logan said...

Leave us "hanging." "Possum." haha! My aunt and uncle used to have a possum that lived in the house and hung from their valances. It will come as no surprise that they are from Arkansas.

Norma said...

Although I had enough of possums on the farm, I enjoyed your possum stories.

steve said...

I was the school resource officer (SRO) at Bossier High for several years, and I. (Not the student type animals, even though I have a fair share of them as well.)

Several years before I was the SRO at Bossier High, when I was a street cop assigned to patrol, I even dealt with even an alligator at the school.

Bossier City had experienced several days of storms that dropped over 20 inches of rain, and the ditches behind and beside the school were flooded.

The department got a call that morning from a someone reporting there was a large alligator laying in the grass between one of the ditches and the school.

I thought to myself, "Yeah, right. Even if there were an alligator, the way people exaggerate, it will probably we a little one."

WRONG! The gator was between 6 to 7 feet in length, and he was definitely sunning himself on the school side of the ditch.

As I was getting out of the car, the gator jumped in the water and swam into a culvert under the road and wasn't seen again.

The rabbit story happened several years later, when I was the school's SRO, is one of my favorites.

One afternoon I was leaving to go home and saw a couple of the English teachers (Pat wasn't one of them) squatting beside their cars. I was thinking one of the students had done something to one of the cars, so I walked up expecting to start an investigation.

As I walked up, the teachers held up a baby rabbit, they had that certain look on their faces as if they were expecting the police officer to have all the answers. Fortunately, I did

A couple of weeks earlier I was with a group of Cub Scouts who had gone to a wildlife center at a local state park. The park had a center where they cared for little critters until they able to care for themselves.

The teacher handed me the rabbit and asked if I could take it to the center, and I looked at her and said, "I can't drive and hold a rabbit at the same time."

She said, "I'll hold the rabbit, you drive."

So off we went to the wildlife center 10 miles away, me driving safely and the teacher protectively holding the baby rabbit.

When we got to the center, a ranger told us there were a bunch of rabbits living out back. We went to the back of the building, found a small wood pile and place the rabbit beside it.

The rabbit scampered under a pile, where I hope he is living a long and happy rabbit life.