‘Hello Possums!’ has long been Dame Edna Everidge’s affectionate greeting to her audience. They are definitely very cute….in their place!
Once my husband and I awoke before dawn to the tinkling of glassware and thought a burglar was making off with our crystal goblets. We peeped into the dining room and there was a ring-tail possum sitting on a little drinks table. It had entered via the chimney, then leapt gracefully down from the mantelpiece. We knew that catching it was not an option; it would simply knock all the goblets over in a mad panic then…..well who knows what would happen. Maybe this;
A POSSUM DID IT (1940)
Returning to her home from Gundagai on Sunday, Miss D. Sullivan of ‘Caha’ found her office in a state of chaos. . Curtains were torn, papers strewn all over the room, pictures broken and lamps smashed. No explanation was forthcoming of all the disorder, until a search was made to see if anything was missing.
Upon opening a drawer in the writing desk, out sprang a big ring-tailed opossum. The animal evidently fell down the chimney, and in endeavoring to get out, caused the damage.
We decided to open the door onto the decking, shut all the others, and just hope it would leave of its own accord. Then we went back to bed.
Next morning I nervously opened the dining room door. Not a thing was out of place and there was no sign of the visitor. Stranger still, the screen door to the deck had blown shut. ‘We were so lucky the possum left before that happened’, I told a friend later. ‘Yes, unless of course it shut the door behind it as it left’, she said. I like to think that’s what happened.
When one of our Japanese maples lost its leaves this year I spotted what I thought was a large bird’s nest, very high up. It turned out to be a sleeping ring-tail.
As dusk came it started to wake up and I was able to get a better shot.
The only other time I have spotted a possum during the day was when a big eucalypt suddenly fell across the road just outside our fence. It probably succumbed to white ants. When I went to investigate there was a ring-tail still clinging to its bough. It was dazed, and completely disoriented, wondering why it was no longer 10 metres above the ground. After a while it recovered and ambled off to find a new home. The pair below chose an abandoned wood stove for their abode.
Possums have enormous appetites. If they take a fancy to rose buds or lemons, or anything else in your garden, you must abandon all hope. Yes, they love apples too. Oh, for heavens sake….I thought I was immune;
Some people put out feeding trays of delicious fruits in a vain effort to satisfy the little wretches. Trust me, it doesn’t work. Enjoy the fruit salad yourself, because they will still eat your prize produce.
Did you know that the possum features on our fancy new $1 and $2 coins? Fame indeed. The image was inspired by Mem Fox’s best selling children’s book, Possum Magic.
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