Here is the gist of the story:
If a national animal rights group gets its way, people in a small mountain town in North Carolina will have to greet the new year without lowering a scrappy marsupial to the ground.I have tried to look up the chief protagonists of the story. Here comes the 'possum:
Clay Logan, who owns the Clay's Corner store in the far western tip of the state, has been lowering an opossum in a transparent box to the ground every New Year's for 18 years, in a local homage to the famous ball drop in Times Square.
This year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called on the state Wildlife Resources Commission to put a halt to the tradition, saying the activity is cruel and illegal.
"Ignorance of the law is not a defense, and cruelty to animals is indefensible," PETA Director Delcianna Winders said. "Using a captive opossum as the centerpiece of a raucous party is cruel and illegal."
And here is the Clay's Corner store, in lieu of Mr Logan, whose picture I didn't find:
Since there is no depiction of Clay Logan, it will be unfair to him if I present PETA Director Delcianna Winders in full. So here is her leg, from this source:
Ladies and gentlemen, I can ask nothing more of you than to judge by the available evidence. At least, if you decide to let the 'possum go, and I don't see any reason why, please let the good citizens of that NC town have that leg (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) to gently lower to the ground, as the sign of the times, if nothing else...
Oh, and merry Christmas and happy New Year to the folks of Brasstown, NC.