On a gray, windy day that winked and hinted at the possibility of long-awaited rain, Old Possum’s evening stroll took him to the woods, where the well-worn path under the trees was so dry that he sneezed three times and left dusty footprints most of the way home.
But as he neared his house, the birds grew quiet and a few raindrops plopped on the dry ground, kicking up tiny dust clouds. Possum stopped for a minute to watch the sky, sniff the air, and let his fur get just a bit wet, before going inside to bed.
Throughout the night, rain pattered on rooftops; washed the flowers, plants, and new tree leaves; soaked into the formerly dry dirt; and collected in crevices. When Old Possum ventured out into the damp morning, the birds in the terra cotta tray atop the stone wall — which had filled up with rainwater overnight — were singing a jaunty tune as they splashed and bathed. Possum stomped happily through the soft earth and was reminded of similarly wet mornings when he was a boy, when he would borrow his mother’s fluted ramekins to make mud pies.