The Possum Problem

Reads: 83  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Of course only shady people do things in forest, but you're at a beach

You furiously dig at the sand, back to the water as you try not to look at the creeping light behind you.

“Should I be chanting to Apollo to stop the sun rising?”

You look up with a fervent glare.

“Why don’t you put that breath to use and help me dig this bloody hole.”

“There’s only one spade.”

You throw it over to him and return to the hole with your hands, ignoring the grits gathering under your fingernails.

“Should you really be doing this?”

Sand spilling away you stop.

“I am burying a dead body and if it is not in this ground before that sun rises then I will be burying myself with it.”

“It’s just a possum. You hit it with your bicycle, it’s not your fault.”

Trying to stop more sand from falling, you grimace.

“Not my fault? I put my signature on that bloody petition and swore to protect the animals of the forest and now here I am responsible for the death of one. It doesn’t matter if it’s not my fault, this death is on my hands, so are you going to help me dig this hole or not?”

You eye him off as he picks up the spade, willing him to start using it.

“If you’re patient with yourself you’ll realise this was just an accident, and if you really want to respect it you should bury it back in the forest, not on the beach.”

Glancing at the plastic bag resting to the side you go back to tearing away at the sand.

“That sun is getting higher and soon this beach is going to be filled with enthusiastic morning joggers and everyone’s going to know about the person who killed a possum. Give me that spade back if you’re not using it.”

He doesn’t budge.

“If you buried it in the forest no one will see you. You can make a little pile of stones to commemorate it.”

“Shady people do shady things in the forest, and I am not a shady person. Now will you hand me that dead possum?”

He looks at the possum, at the spade, and then at you.


Gingerly he picks up the animal and places it in the hole.

“Do you want to say a few words?”

Rising, you look with melancholy towards the sandy grave.

“I’m sorry your possum life wasn’t longer good friend.”

“May Hades welcome you warmly.”

Together you push sand back over the grave until all that remains is a small mound.

Turning around you see the sun fulling rested over the water, and in the distance a few joggers beginning to make their way onto the beach.

“Time for bed,” you say with relief.

“You know, isn’t it bad for there to be a plastic bag buried in the sand, doesn’t that kill the turtles?”

You look at the hefty spade in your hand.

“If you say one more word I’m going to need a bigger plastic bag.”


Submitted: June 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Archia. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


moa rider

Ha everyone has a different perspective. We have your brushtail possum here across the ditch and they're a real pest. We try to control them, but they're beating us just now. You want them back? Usianguke

Fri, June 25th, 2021 10:33pm


My cousin (in NZ) used to think it funny that we care about possums, she'd rather shoot them. Thanks for reading!

Fri, June 25th, 2021 3:44pm

dewey green

Onya mate! Been there, burried that...are you sure it wasn't playing possum?

Fri, July 30th, 2021 2:14pm


If anything could play possum best it would be a possum. Thanks for reading!

Fri, July 30th, 2021 4:24pm

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