Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Night Visitor



It's hours now since Sunset, so at first I can't quite make out what's moving in the back yard.

Whatever it is, it's big, the size of a very large cat—an overweight cat, to be sure—but it's way too low-slung to be one of the neighborhood toms that regularly patrol my yard, and besides, the movement is all wrong: a kind of waddling scuttle.

A raccoon? We had one living up in the eaves a few years back: a big old, well-fed urban raccoon. (I opened the blind early one morning to find it giving me the Look: Just who the f*ck are you, and why are you wasting my time? Raccoons are notoriously attitudinous.) But no, the shape is wrong.

It crosses the yard and heads back to the compost heap by the garden. When I see the long, bare rat-tail, I know immediately what it is. I didn't realize that opossums got so big.

Opossums, North America's only native marsupial. I'm guessing from the size that this one's probably a male. In that case, like all male marsupials, he's got a forked penis. That's pretty cool.

Witch-critters. Here in North America, if you can't get bear-grease to make your flying ointment, possum grease will do just fine, they say. Look out, Mr. Possum.

The opossum waddle-scuttles off into the shadows. I turn back toward the temple to make the evening offering to the Horned, Lord of Beasts.

Marvelous in your many-ness are you, I hum.


Last modified on
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Jamie
    Jamie Sunday, 14 March 2021

    Mr. Posch,

    My wife and I live on the edge of a swamp, and animals emerge into our back yard all the time. Praise be to Artemis, I've never had a close encounter with a bear.

    The raccoon, though? He walks upright on two legs! I saw him not long ago, as I was beginning my evening walk. He walked ON TWO LEGS back into the swamp.

    Maybe he was a person in another life.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information