28 Oct 2010

To our resident possum

Dear Mrs Possum,

I am quite aware that you are a native Australian marsupial and are protected by Federal Law, and yes, your new baby is certainly very cute, but if you don't stop eating all the leaf tips off the Buff Beauty roses in the Side Garden you are going to die. And I mean soon. Painfully and without remorse. And yes, I know that it is illegal, and no, I don't care. Not even a little itty bitty bit.

I have had enough, do you hear, and I won't take it any more. Don't you know how difficult it is to keep plants alive through a drought? Don't you understand how pleased my husband and I are that the ugly side fence is finally clothed in green and that the roses are covered with buds ready to bloom? Don't you look? Do you care about anyone other than yourself?

Have you forgotten that we house you? Feed you? Keep you safe?

Oh no you don't! Don't you go accusing me of being hasty, of acting without thinking. Didn't I replace the Wedding Day rose in the pear tree not once, not twice, but three times because of you? Didn't I carefully wrap it in ugly chicken wire to stop you from loving it to death? Did I say anything to you about that? Did you feel at all concerned for your well being or for that of your family over all those years? Well? Did you? See, didn't think so.

You should now.

Please accept this as an official warning. In writing. With witnesses. Stop eating those roses or you'll be sorry. I am rather partial to possum yarn - haven't you seen my Merinomink jacket up close? I would be pleased to have another, you know.

I mean that.

Yours very sincerely indeed,

Disgruntled Resident.

PS Same goes for running over our tin roof at night. It was okay when it was only you, but do you and Junior really need to practice your sprints between two and three o'clock every single morning? Couldn't we even come to some arrangement? Like every second weekend and school holidays or something? I could let you know when we are going to be away even, if that would help calm things down and let my daughter get a full night's sleep for a change.

I am not usually a bloodthirsty woman. I can be placated, but the next move is yours.

I recommend that you think very hard about that. And don't take too long about it either.


  1. Dear Jeanne: For many years I lived in a house named Bungawitta, which means place of the possums, & I must inform you that your request reveals you to be more than ordinarily delusional because there is no known power on earth that will stop a possum from eating anything or racing along the rooftops at 3am. Be grateful you only have 2. There is nothing more ear~splittingly hair~raisingly shattering than a possum overshooting the mark on the roof & swan diving into the earth below. A series of such events in the course of an evening take years of one's life. Stray visitors have been known to leap from their beds & rush to the phone crying, "Quick! Phone the police. A woman's being murdered out there!" Exciting days.

  2. Dear disgruntled resident,
    You need mediation. See your nearest wild life Ranger and have the vermin removed, oops, work this whole mess out. Hey, they lived there first, right!

    I remember on the farm our alarm to find fruit eaten during the night by possums and Dad's chicken wire solutions in the roof to keep them out. As Ganeida said, Exciting days. You are indeed a woman of hidden passions.

  3. Ruby, I will need medication. Preferably 1080. For the possum, not for me.

    Ganeida, of course we have more than two. Where do you think baby comes from? Ahem...

    She has been warned. Jemimah suggests that I put a copy of the letter on the fence so she can read it, but i think she reads my blog, don't you?

  4. Wow, I thought this only happened in books...I know it must be beyond annoying, but to me it sounds formidable exotic. We only have cotton mouth snakes in our backyards, the classic death armadillo, and since we live in the subs, our closest to this thing is cat poop in our children playgrounds...but to put all that care into cultivating those incredibly beautiful roses, and to cope with the noise, as if people were breaking in every night...I'd make an unusual request to my husband for his gun, or even head out to Academy to by a riffle and wait for them with a vengeance.

  5. Dearest Jeanne:

    It occured to me Madam Possum might be a thoroughly modern madam ~ & thus a single mother who rarely visited young 'un's dad at his place of residence. Obviously you are not so lucky though perhaps you prefer more possums with better morals than fewer but morally loose marsupials? You really shouldn't issue public threats like this. Have you never heard of the Marsupial mafia? Revenge is theirs!

  6. Mediation, medication, 1080 baits.
    (Note to self ~ DO NOT eat the roses, run on the tin roof, or otherwise provoke the seemingly mild mannered Ms Jeanne)

  7. Ruby, consider yourself warned. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Ganeida, she is a right madam, that one. You should see how coy and innocent she looks too. And that child of hers?!!

  8. We used a few different methods to drive away our possum, it has taken a few years for the possum to finally get the message.

    We bought a spray from Bunnings that possums don't like (it worked to a point), chilli spray we made ourselves (didn't work), pruning the plants she walked along (found a different route) and finally the hose and wetting her every night when she came down and sat on our fence teasing the dogs. They of course would bark and carry, every night. She drove us made all summer. So far so good, she appears to have left.

    Ps she ate the neighbours roses and killed our apricot tree.

  9. Jeanne, thank you for making me laugh today. We have some fat squirrels that keep burying acorns and pecans in our newly seeded carrot bed. I've replanted three times because of those rodents. I'm about to buy a bebe gun. I bet squirrel stew with rosemary and carrots would be quite tasty.

    Good luck with Mr. Possum. And the roses are beautiful. Worth clubbing a possum to death for, in my opinion.

  10. I wonder if it would work if I wrote a similar entreaty to the bats who take up residence in my roof and scamper and roughhouse during the day (aren't they supposed to be sleeping?) and then make their toilet RIGHT next to my closet leaving whole piles of evidence for me to step in when I get up in the morning?!?

    I am so perplexed by their rudeness.

    amy in peru

  11. Hey Amy,
    I didn't know about that when you posted that cute poster child picture of your bat in your blog.
    Looks like your nature studies are going to turn into bloody journals.

  12. Chuckle. Funny comments here...

  13. We had the same problem with squirrels. Notice I did say "had."

  14. Hmmm....

    Just make sure it doesn't die of old age. Or from getting stuck. Or from fighting. Any of which could lead to the scenario we now have at our house. Grrrrosssssss! :P


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