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The Law Firm of Possum, Possum & Possum
By nature I’m a peaceful and compassionate man-sort of.

If asked to prove this in any court of law, my best defense might be depositions from critters whom I have assisted in the past; critters that I have put my own life in near peril while trying to bring safety and comfort to theirs.

That is, all except the possum.

I have heard in the wind some critters refer to me as the ‘Critter-Creature’. Now, I don’t really know much critter language, so I just assumed that might be some kind of compliment. And while I have too often narrowly escaping a fiery death in my truck, while swerving trying to miss hitting a rabbit, squirrel, mouse, cat, dog, deer, etc, such is not the case with the possum. My hands seem to have a mind of their own and aim right toward those two ‘devil eyes’.

So far, I have been able to resists this hateful urge-but for how long…and why?

I know you might not believe this, but on more than one occasion, late at night, I have seen raccoons standing safely on one side of the road coaxing a possum to cross. The raccoons would try to time it so the possum would be halfway across when a fast moving human-critter vehicle came screaming around the curve, “Hey Pete…come on over here…you got to see this, man…hurry…One, Two Three Go!!”

There are those who might think such a mention is cruel and insensitive. But if you knew the truth, you would understand the raccoon’s reasoning. It started out personal but now it’s a business; probably even biological; maybe even a hard-wired, imprint code within the DNA of every living critter (omitted as part of the initial Critter Genetic Software release, but added in an upgrade many millennium ago – I think it was around version CGS 2.202… I think).

I was ignorant about all this possum stuff until recently.

One day, a while back, I was alone down at the creek and this fox came up and told me about what’s the real deal with possums. He was in a chatty mood and eventually told me the whole story behind how the possums fell from critter grace.

Everything you ever heard about fox’s cleverness is all true-and then some. Usually foxes keep to themselves, hiding from other critter interaction. It’s just one of many fallout factors as a result of the ‘Great Possum Revolution’ that led to the possum’s alienation from the rest of the critter universe.

The fox’s tale went something like this:
There was a period, long ago, when all of the critters lived together harmoniously in one place called 'The Hills in the Woods'.

In those times, if there was any critter dispute they had an informal way of working things out for themselves; either they would agree on a mutual solution or one just ate the other.

As is the way of any social dynamics, things are always changing. Social complexities are all about scale. When populations grow there is always the need to adopt a more formal way to keep order; a standard and exercise to convene a common agreement in order to control things benefiting the most, and harming the least.

Eventually this critter harmony, of which the fox spoke, became confusing with the growing populations and the expanding varieties. Someone needed to be a ‘go-to critter’ to arbitrate issues when deciding matters came up.

One particular Raccoon was selected to serve as ‘High Arbitrator’ because he was smart, considered fair and always seemed to be around when conflicts arose. If there was a need for an opinion, The Raccoon was there to serve. This arrangement settled well for a long time with most everyone satisfied. But eventually, as in life, all critters will gravitate to the path of least resistance; the exception becomes the rule; both literally and figuratively.

What started out as a once in a while arbitration for The Raccoon turned into a full time job. Critters became so used not to solving their own problems they would run to The Raccoon for every small tension point that arose; ‘this squirrel is taking nuts off the ground where I usually pick mine… this deer is drinking from the same spot in the stream where I like to drink…this wolf ate two rabbits and he was only supposed to eat one; everybody knows the tendencies.

The Raccoon needed a solution to this growing concern which was just going to get worse.

In comes the possum.

It seems that the possum has a certain aptitude for language. They do not think much in vague expressions. The rest of Critterdom ponders and articulates mostly in emotions and whims- in individual ‘shades of gray’. To a possum, everything can be pondered and articulated in terms of black and white.

It turned out to be just the kind of structure that was needed to clarify who was allowed to do the what, where, why and how of things.

The Raccoon genius was in deciding that it was mor efficient to be proactive in settling misunderstandings than it was to be reactive. If everyone agreed on the rules beforehand, then there would be a consensus of behavior, so everyone could determine for themselves what was right and proper and what was not.

It was a brilliant idea that only a raccoon could muster.

A possum’s language is not particularly deep or wide, but it is simple and consistently accurate-just the design The Raccoon needed to execute his plan.

Now the only real flaws in this approach were twofold. First, the Possum language is unique, whereas most critter languages can usually be understood by the other, a possum’s is rigid and in its' own unique code. Possum language is not an open operating system (kind of like Apple OS), which means that only a possum can really decipher it. When the possum creates their version of a rule, it is gibberish to the rest of the critters. They have to hire a possum to tell what it says, and more importantly, what it doesn’t say.

You can see the impending problems with such.

And the second flaw in this plan was that even though a possum may look naive, they do have tendencies for very strong ambitions; latent ambitions which started simply as an assisting role, but ended with ambitions for absolute control over every aspect of critter life!

Pretty soon the whole animal kingdom became paralyzed; each critter became so burdened by so many rules and uncertain of what to do about anything anymore; always needing to get the possum’s opinion about what it all meant.

And the odd thing was that when a critter asked for a possum’s translations of a certain rule, their replies always seemed to be fluid and ever changing. Any rule’s meaning seeemed to be interpreted differently from one possum to another-the very thing that possum language was meant to avoid!

Great unrest was soon created. Most critters realized that their world had slowly been transformed into a possum world. And as you might imagine, who wants to live life like a possum?

So there was a rebellion. The eagles, hawks and other birds were first to say ‘audios’, with the foxes, wolves and coyotes not far behind. After awhile, every species left The Hills in the Woods to live elsewhere, living according to their own sensibilities– for better or worse.

In the end all that was left were the raccoons and the possums holding onto and expanding endless rules and regulations, ones that nobody was left to try and understand.

Raccoons then began to drink heavily and spend most their time staring at the possums staring back.

So, for me, this fox’s tale clarified the deep hard feelings most critters have today toward possums- they all blame the possum for the downfall of paradise. Yet, even today, they thrive.

Just call the Law Office of Possum, Possum and Possum.

They’re in the Book.