|Meet Jenny! This photo does not adequately show her droopy face and human-sized head, but it does show her impressive camera-mugging skills and rippling muscles.|
In my defense, the incident took place in 2008, and I'm not getting any younger. Out in the country, we've had run-ins with so many creatures that I should be forgiven any confusions: the raccoon that committed suicide under my car, the deer who dash across the road at night, the possums who come too close to the house, the coyotes who howl audibly and possibly bite our tortie cat, the bat that crept into our attic, the birds we find (dead and alive) in the yard, the rabbits/squirrels/chipmunks that feast on our yard when neighborhood cats aren't feasting on them, and the turtles who cross the road.
Those are just the wild ones — I'm not counting the livestock — and the nonroadkill ones.
Also in my defense, or to my credit, I'm phasing out of country-runner mode and into city-runner mode.
I'm growing used to running on sidewalks at any hour of the day I please, with all sorts of people around me: bikers, walkers, other runners, skaters and stroller-pushers ... everyone but drivers, who are kept at a safe distance from me. This is a marked contrast to my days of meandering down the middle of country roads, swerving to the shoulder for the occasional car.
And with the more urban setting comes the change in animal sightings.
Country folks like their dogs; their leashes, not so much — I can't think of the last time I saw a free-roaming dog. (I hear what are presumably unleashed but penned-up dogs a lot, however.)
Deer continue to show up along the wooded rec paths, and I'm used to that from forest preserves, but the boldness of rabbits scurrying across the trails is a novelty. The ones back home had more to fear (our cats) and more room to hide in the dense woods.
And that's about it, with the occasional chipmunk/squirrel. Certainly the terrain I cross these days isn't peppered with possums and raccoons who fell victim to cars, nor is it populated with fierce woodchucks.
Sorry, Jenny. As my mom pointed out, you're more than prepared to handle a stupid possum; this citified girl, however, is obviously not. The Scooby Snacks are on me.