Elijah put the Toyota in park. It was the perfect place to stop. He knew because he’d checked it out the previous day. There was an abandoned woodchuck burrow, old rotting branches to turn over in search of insects, a nearby stream, and dead leaves to drag into the burrow and create a warm nest.
“We’re here,” he said. A beady-eyed pink-snouted face poked up out of the cardboard box beside him.
Elijah picked up the opossum. Holding it in the crook of one arm, he opened the door and slid out of the truck.
“You’ll like this place,” he assured the opossum as he walked over to the well-concealed entrance to the abandoned burrow. “And it’s miles from any roads.”
He set the now-healed and healthy animal down. “Go on,” he urged, and the opossum scurried over to the hole, pushing through the dense brush that surrounded it. It sniffed cautiously for a few moments and then, with one final backward glance of farewell, vanished from sight.
Elijah sighed. It was always difficult, setting free someone for whom you cared- even when you knew in your heart of hearts that it had been the right thing to do.