I really don’t like picking ticks off a dog, or my skin! I know that mosquitos are actually the most dangerous of insects, killing a million people a year transmitting deadly diseases, but ticks really creep me out. Mosquitos suck blood and turn red; ticks suck blood and turn into bags of blood with their heads buried in my skin. I really don’t like ticks. And I didn’t think I liked ‘possums.
When I was in the 9th grade I came to Chatham to get a couple of heads from a guy who bought and skinned fur-bearing animals. No, it wasn’t for a Satanic ritual. They were for a biology project.
When I compared the brain size of a raccoon and a ‘possum, I discovered that ‘possums had tiny brains. That, and a couple of bad experiences with ‘possums, sealed the deal. Even though I had seen cute pictures of mama ‘possums with babies hanging from their tails, I thought they were ugly and stupid. They became my least favorite wild mammal. But, as they say, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Today I read an article in the “Dandy Designs” section of Does God Exist?, a periodical that Jonathan Sperry introduced me to several years ago. It’s good, and it’s free. If you want to subscribe, send a request for it to: Does God Exist? PO Box 2704, South Bend, IN 46680-2704.
Back to the article. “Recent studies have shown that opossums protect us from ticks. Opossums are fastidious in their grooming, scratching, licking, and chewing to remove any tick that is in their fur. Recent studies have shown that opossums may kill as many as 4,000 ticks a week, reducing the chance of Lyme disease being spread.”
The article also noted that scientists have recently found a peptide in opossum blood that neutralizes toxins so well that it is like a miracle, and concludes by saying, “God’s design of all life is a miracle, but the lowly opossum may be one of the most under-appreciated of all of God’s creatures.”
The next time one crawls out of our dryer vent I’ll not only thank it for cleaning it out, I’ll apologize for under-appreciating it.
God Bless, Rick