In all of nature, everything has a defense mechanism. Whitetail deer will snort when alarmed and the bound off with their tails in the air as if it were a big middle finger to hunters. Turkey's actually do fly and a black bear will either run when frightened or stick around to rip you to shreds.

The opossum however, is the best actor in the woods. Michigan's only marsupial, our little grinning buddy will literally keel over and play dead if it's toothy grin doesn't scare you off first.

Most people are not fond of them but me personally, I think thy're a riot to be around. Just like this old possum I came across on my way home. It was crossing the road rather slowly and I wanted to make sure it wasn't hit. So I parked in my neighbors driveway to have a look. Of course it turned and started hissing at me! Not phased, I took a close look to see if it was injured. What I saw was the oldest possum I have ever encountered!

I have had more than my fair share of run in's with wildlife of both safe and dangerous types, but this one was special. It seemed to be so old with it's nubbed tail and dire need of a wildlife dentist, I was surprised to find it alive. Well, I know it was alive until it went into it's actual act of "playing possum." I found it comical when it just decided to go into the "I'm dead" act. All the while wrapping it's prehensile tail around my foot.

Satisfied that it was really fine, I left it alone and went on my way while it laid there until I was really gone. 30 minutes later a well being check found my new friend gone and on it's way.