The Possum

Author: Kevin Karstrom   Date Posted:22 March 2017 

When critters come to visit.....

Over the years in our shearing shed come winery and cellar door there have been many animals that have come to roost. Most for a short time and others for an afternoon slither or just a visit to see if anything smaller than people may be around. Possums do not seem to be the same. I think possums move in and regard where they inhabit as legal squatting grounds.  They don’t bring the family so I assume they are males getting away from the racket of the children. They tend to sleep between the insulation and the roof (corrugated iron) so you can see by the bulge where they are. They are nocturnal so they sleep like I wish during the day.  

Of course Rosie the dog can see the bulge also and will sit for hours waiting for the trespasser to move.  The other day we were feeling frisky so we decided to prod our un-paying tenant into action. Rosie was ready, barking as usual, and we succeeded in moving the uninvited boarder from one section of the roof to the other.

Or so we thought. 

The next day Rosie’s interest was completely captivated by one of the old, un-used , concrete wine tanks.  She would not leave the base of the tank for anything.  The tanks are 10 feet tall with one opening at the top. I climbed up there with a torch and peered inside.  Ten feet below me were two glowing eyes with a sort of “what now” look in them. So, our possum mate had fallen into the tank that would imprison him until his death unless he received help from me. 

Back in the morning tea/storage room we have an old, but effective, rope ladder, that was to be used in case of an emergency should someone fall into one of these very tanks.   I looked into the tank as I let the ladder down.  Just a frozen stare from the not so small possum greeted me.  The ladder was hooked up and I went back to other things.  An hour later I grabbed my camera and went up to see if there was any progress.  I caught him just as he was climbing out of the tank.  He sat and looked at me and me at him for at least a minute.  It seemed obvious to me that he was quite grateful that I had thrown him a lifeline.  To tell the truth there was one a few years ago that saw the inside of a tank and that was the last thing he ever saw. So my not so little friend scampered off.  

While looking for the bulges today I saw none and Rosie doesn’t see anything to look at either. I reckon he was thanking his lucky stars and decided that living with the racket of his family was far more appealing than the alternative. So I seem to have changed my tune on non-invited visitors. Let’s not imprison our unwanted visitors, let’s give them a lifeline, no strings attached. 


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