The word "opossum" comes from the Algonquian Indian word "pasum" and means "white animal". The opossum's fur is actually a soft gray. The animals normally weight in at about 15 pounds and reach lengths of up to three (3) feet long including their tail. Opossum have small hand like feet with the rear feet including an opposable thumb to help grasp onto tree branches. To aid in grasping and balance they also have prehensile tail-a tail adapted for that very purpose. The tail and ears of the opossum are hairless. Combine that with a pointed face and you can understand why many gardeners have taken a quick step back when they come across this somewhat odd looking marsupial!