Jack Studebaker, Reporter – A possum has been lying at the corner of Elm Street and Maple Drive for three consecutive days. No one has been prepared to approach the area around the creature for fear of disturbing it in case he’s just pretending or taking an extended nap.
Emma French, noted local historian and lifetime Puddlegulch Playhouse Association member, lives nearby. “Of course you know the possum is a revered creature around here,” French explained. “So these situations must be handled delicately. Once upon a time, there was an elaborate ceremony for the recovery of the remains of such creatures. Then again, he could just be a dedicated thespian like myself.”
French proceeded to cite the long list of PPA theatre productions in which she’s been involved, including her award-winning performance as the lead in “On Golden Pond”. French has a number of scrapbooks documenting each and every production of the PPA since its founding in 1982.
She has also spent a considerable amount of time pretending to be dead in the Ladies’ Historical Society reenactments of the Civil War era founding of Puddlegulch, celebrated every December. “I know a thing or two about acting dead.” she said. “If he is indeed feigning death then I can say only one thing. What commitment to his craft!”
Clarabelle Beasley, another neighborhood resident, said she witnessed a “shiny Lincoln” careening through the intersection late at night prior to the discovery of the beast Monday morning. “I have my suspicions,” she said. Beasley’s sister, Jennifer, corroborated her story. “I suspect there may be foul play,” she added.
The sisters live together on Elm Street near the intersection and are co-leaders of the Neighborhood Watch. “There’s only the two of us,” Clarabelle Beasley explained. Jennifer Beasley added, “We couldn’t get anyone else involved, but we do a pretty good job on our own, if I do say so myself.”. The Beasley’s insist that crime in the neighborhood is at an all-time low since the formation of the Neighborhood Watch. The last reported incident however was just this past summer when the Beasleys made a call to the county Sheriff’s office that resulted in the arrest of Sadie, Horace P. Crumbpacker’s 5 year old dachshund mix, for disturbing the peace.
UPDATE: After further investigation, it was determined that the possum was in fact deceased. Sheriff’s deputy James Barnes picked up the remains later in the afternoon with a shovel and a plastic garbage bag.