(Photo and words published in Jan/Feb/Mar issue of “Life Images by Somerset” on a magazine rack near you!)

In the beginning, she came only in the dead of night, leaving no trace except an unusually barren bowl of dog kibble the following morning. Her visits became more frequent and more blatant as she crept through the dog door in the early evenings, following a path in front of the glowing television, and watching patiently as the elderly border collie scratched around on an over-stuffed dog bed in preparation for evening slumber. After the dog drifted into an intense dream state marked by frantically kicking limbs, the night visitor crawled past the snoring, twitching nose en route to the crunchy delicacies that lie just beyond in the kitchen. As the days passed, the orphaned marsupial began to venture out into the brilliant light of day, fearing threat from neither hound nor human, and finding comfort in the dense clover that carpeted the backyard landscape. She had discovered a place to call home; at least until her roaming instincts would eventually urge her onward to new adventures. Until then, she was happy to be an obliging model for the strange creature with the clicking, telescoping eye.