Ralph Versus Freddie the Opossum

Since I live in a heavily wooded area that just so happens to be in the city, I see a lot of wild animals in my back yard at night. I have had Rocky Raccoon, who probably weighed about 30lbs or more, and was killed by a car one night. I have had many feral cats, once of which I named Old Yellow who was picked up by an Animal Control Officer (I'm still hot about that since I had grown attached to the cat) and an assortment of wild dogs, and opossums. If they come often enough, I wind up giving them names.

There is this one big, bad male opossum who has frequented my back yard since just before Thanksgiving of last year. Like all opossums, he has a bad disposition and is ready to fight on a moment's notice. He doesn't care if you walk up on two legs and outweigh him by about 170lbs. He'll take on all comers, one at a time or all at once. So, I named him Freddie the Opossum. We have been out in the back yard on two different occasions and he stood up as if to fight me. I respectfully declined. However, my nine month old beagle, Ralph, is under no such restrictions. Like Freddie, he'll fight anyone who dares to come onto “his” property. So, I have made it a point to make sure Ralph is inside the house before it gets dark. Darkness brings out Freddie, since opossums are nocturnal and I don't want to see them fight. Plus, opossums are known to carry rabies as well. So, I felt it was best I never find out who would come out the winner.

This morning, about 4AM, I heard Ralph whining like he does whenever he needs to go outside to potty. Well, he does that once a night. But, this is usually about 1-2AM. I had already let him go outside to do his doggy business at about 2:15AM. I didn't want him peeing all over the floor. So, I got my house shoes on, housecoat on and off we went to the back door. He was very anxious to get outside. He doesn't do this ordinarily. I open the door, Ralph FLIES out the door and before I know it, he has jumped on Freddie the Opossum who was sitting on my back deck. Momentarily stunned, I just stood there as they were wrapped up together and twisting around one another like two angry tornadoes. I came to my senses, grabbed the water hose and turned it loose on them! Freddie wanted no part of the water, so he jumped the fence and took off. I noticed his face was bloodied quite a bit. But, RALPH...well, he got the worst of it. He's got so many scratches this morning, and is bloodied from his floppy ears to his tail. I've tried to put some neosporin on him. But, Ralph will have none of that. I called the vet's emergency number and they said if it isn't life threatening, they would schedule me in first thing this morning at 8AM. So, I've got Ralph laying on some old newspapers and keeping him quiet. Other than the scratches, he doesn't seem to be hurt. But, I'm not taking any chances.

I took Ralph just last week to the vet for a stomach virus (as I was fighting the flu) and now I have to take him back after his climactic fight with Freddie the Opossum. Ralph has been wanting a piece of that opossum for a few months now. I guess he got what he wanted. I doubt Ralph will want any more of Freddie. And, truth be known, I doubt Freddie will be back for round two with Ralph.

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