Possums are not known for their pleasant expressions.
But on Tuesday, Wichita Brewing Company owner Greg Gifford got one angry enough that he was able to capture the perturbed possum portrait of a lifetime – and now his Facebook friends are playfully suggesting that he use the experience to the benefit of his business.
It all started over the summer, when Gifford’s wife, Kim, kept losing chickens from her backyard pen. Something was eating them.
Gifford set a live trap by the coop and waited. On Monday night of this week, he caught a live one – a possum with a particularly ferocious glare.
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A soft-hearted guy, Gifford decided to release the offender but wanted to do it somewhere far away from his property. He drove his possum pen to Pawnee Prairie Park, set the cage on the ground and opened the door.
But the possum wouldn’t go. He refused to budge and was so opposed to going that he gripped tightly to the top of the cage with his little possum paws.
Gifford snapped a picture.
“I opened the cage but he wouldn't leave,” he said. “I finally had to pry his fingers from the cage to get him out.”
He still wouldn’t go.
Instead, the possum dropped to the ground in front of the cage and “played possum,” which the species is inclined to do when scared or stressed.
“They usually high tail it out,” Gifford said. “But this guy didn't.”
Gifford finally left, leaving the possum lying immobile on the ground. He assumes the little fellow ran for safety when the coast was clear.
On Facebook on Tuesday, Gifford shared the photo of his possum captive, and his Facebook friends had several suggestions.
Use him as an ingredient on a new monthly pizza, one said.
Brew a new beer. Call it Perturbed Possum Pale Ale and use the picture on the can.
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Another friend shared a link to the story of the possum that was found drunk last month after breaking into a Fort Walton Beach, Fla., liquor store.
“Just be glad it wasn't a Florida opossum,” the Facebook friend said. “He'd have broken into the brewery and drank all the beer."
Sedgwick County maintenance staff pulled a possum out from Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell's car on Thursday. (Video courtesy of Jim Howell) McClatchyjgreen@wichitaeagle.com