I mentioned in a recent post that I’d named my walking staff “Ol’ Possum Knocker.” I’ve got a short story about that. I used to do a little trapping in my youth and make no apologies for it; I’d still be doing it if I hadn’t made a bad “social decision.” When you catch critters, it follows that you have to also dispatch critters; that’s the most distasteful part of the job. Gunshots scare people and draw attention, so a good whack on the head is the preferred method for most animals. As a result, I carried a box-elder branch about an inch-and-a-quarter at the large end, with the bark removed in the “handle” area, and a leather thong looped through a hole to make it less likely for me to drop it. It was only about three feet long, so skunks could present some interesting situations. I dubbed the stick my “possum knocker,” an ironic name, since you don’t actually hit possums, but break their necks, instead.
Now, for a few months during that time, I allowed a fellow to move in with me who was supposed to be a good Christian guy, and who was losing his apartment. Of course, some of the “good Christians” that I attended church with immediately assumed that I had something in common with a three-dollar bill, but that was their problem, not mine. While staying at my place, the guy got custody of his two little boys, so things got a bit crowded at times. (I can only imagine the horror stories THAT caused!) The guy turned out to be a hopeless womanizer, so he wasn’t such a fine Christian after all. Still, I loaned him my truck on occasion to make connections with his ex about the boys and such.