Monday, January 29, 2007

Be Careful Around That Pool!

In the early/mid 1990s when we were once again living in Monroe, Louisiana, we often enjoyed the swimming pool that my In-Laws had.

They had a big rectangular pool with a diving board, not the little kidney bean fiberglass job we have in our yard here in Florida.

But in Louisiana, you had to be quite careful when in their pool.

Some neighborhoods around Monroe were once swamp. They were drained, levees built, and there ya have it, dry land suitable for homes.

My In-Law's home was right next to one of the man made drainage canals and very near a levee. Also near the swamp and woods on the other side of the levee.

So before you ran out there and jumped in their pool, you were wise to take a slow walk all the way around the pool and carefully look to the bottom for any uninvited swimmers.

Over the years we encountered water moccasins (poisonous snakes), snapping turtles (which scare me more than the snakes), and the assorted mammals that happened to fall in during the night.

One day, it was actually raining and we weren't planning on swimming, Lovely Wife looked outside and said "there's something in the pool again."

We went out there and found one of the most pitiful sights I have ever seen. There was an opossum swimming all the way around the edge of the pool, trying to get out.

He must have been in there for many hours, because he was barely able to swim. He would swim enough to get his body, and his nose, higher in the water, and would swim a few feet while trying to find a way to get out over the side. Of course he couldn't figure it out and had swum untold laps around the circumference of the pool.

He would tire, stop swimming, his nose would drop below the surface, and he would make one more heroic effort and swim back up.

I looked around and went and got their big push broom used for sweeping off the big patio around the pool, walked up to the opossum and dipped the head of the broom into the water and hooked one side of the broom under the opossum's belly and gently lifted him out of the pool and onto the surrounding concrete.

He was just limp on the broom like someone almost dead thrown over a fireman's shoulder.

I slid the broom out from under him and we watched him for a few minutes. He was definitely alive, but I was sure that he would die of exhaustion.

Later when we left, the poor guy was still out there. (What do you do to help an exhausted opossum?)

Later, my Sister In Law said that he had laid out there for hours, almost all day in the rain, and finally got up and wandered off. I was glad, the little feller had lasted that long in the water, I was hoping he would live.

At least we never encountered an alligator in the pool.

When we moved to Florida when I graduated, we found to our pleasant surprise that most of the homes with pools down here have large screened enclosures built all around the entire pool area. It's nifty looking and it keeps out most of the bugs, mosquitoes, and other critters that might wander into our pool.

Side Note: I had switched to Blogger beta a while back, but to supposedly get all the cool new features you have to let it do some wizardry to the template. I finally did that last night, that's why things look a little bit different today.

Hopefully I'll get all of my links and stuff set back up the way I'd like to have them over the next few evenings.


Hammer said...

We've pulled about 30 dead squirrels out of my nephew's pool.

They just don't seem to understand the concept of that much water below their favorite tree.

No possums yet though.

Travis said...

Crazy stuff. The worst thing I ever encountered in a swimming pool was a family of raccoons.

But they were having a grand old time and not in any kind of distress at all!!