32 comments on “Monster in the dark.

    • Our possums are like a cross between a cat and a squirrel I guess. They are actually lovely creatures as long as they are not building a house in your roof.

      They are easily befriended too, leaving a door open when they know there is the chance of a feed will result in your kitchen being raided, as a friend of mine found out time and time again. 🙂

      I wouldn’t want Jack to drag a corpse like that home! I think that if she tried to take on a possum in the nighttime our little Jack would come out worse off, during the day they are often attacked by cats but at night they are more formidable, all sharp teeth and claws!

  1. Yes, y’all have much more attractive possums. Ours look like they were dragged backward through a bush. And you want grouchy? Try coming across one on the road and shining your lights on it. If it doesn’t run off, it will hiss angrily. Odd beasts.

    • Your possums are not really the cute and cuddly version, are they?

      Possums can be a real problem here because they get in your roof and wee everywhere (stinky) and thump around all night. They are protected so even if you call in a possum catcher all they can do is catch the possum, plug up all the access holes then let it go again!

  2. You make Australia seem like a world of wonders… Even if the wildlife are encroaching. I’m glad you included the nice video too, as I’d never have guessed. I like how he’s your “resident” and I think you should make friends and give him an apple… It is Christmas after all.

    • Australia is a wonderful place, not that I am biased or anything….. 🙂
      I thought I had better include evidence of the nice side of possums as the scary noise clip makes it seem like they will drop out of the trees and chew on your head.

      Possums can become quite acclimatized to people and turn up in droves for their nightly feed. They are nice creatures but I am happy that ours would rather stomp off that think it was entitled to a regular meal.

      Possums love fruit but they REALLY love roses. Many years ago a friend decorated his bedroom with a liberal sprinkle of rose petals for a romantic valentines suprise for his wife. The mood was totally ruined by the possums overhead going completely crazy because of the smell and trying to break into the room through the ceiling!

  3. When I was a child I was bitten by a possum. I was only trying to pick it up from our front door mat to put it back into a tree! And I had to have a tetanus injection! The outrage still lingers!!

    • I have seen a child (not one of mine fortunately) who was feeding a crowd of possums pull up his hand still with a possum attached to one knuckle by the teeth…. cue screaming and frantic hand shaking!

      If you were trying to be a helpful child and then had to suffer the indignity of a tetanus injection I am not surprised you are still holding a grudge against them! They might be cute but they still have sharp claws and teeth. The Man still nurses a twenty year old grudge against koalas for an unwanted clawing when one was being delivered to the vet by him in the course of his job. 🙂

      • I love how we can hold a grudge against an animal! It’s as though we expect them to behave in a human manner. My possum was really just defending itself, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling aggrieved! Should ‘your Man’ or I attend counseling?!

        • It is ridiculous, isn’t it? Anthropomorphising animals is an irresistable thing. When they do something that convinces us they understand the sting of an unexpected attack is made all the worse!

          Knowing how the Man feels about koalas, some form of wake up call in the form of professional counseling might be in order! 😉
          You sound like a perfectly rational human who is aware of how silly a grudge against animals is so I will let you off. 🙂

  4. Ungh, we have a big one that comes visiting most nights as well. I made the mistake of creating a compost pile not far from the back door [fruit and veg only!] so we get maggies during the day and possums at night. Mogi ignores the maggies as the compost pile is on the other side of a fenced off area, but barking at the possum[s] has become a nightly ritual with her. 😦

    • Crikey, that’s not a compost heap, it is a restaurant!
      The barking at the possums is the only thing I don’t have to suffer. Jack was taken by surprise by it the very first night when she was small enough to be cowed by anything. Now it growls and her tail goes up, the defensive face goes on but she wisely backs away and does her business elsewhere, phew!

        • I think it is because she has only heard and not seen one. If it sounds that bad and you have never seen one what on earth could the beast be?!

          Another reason I keep her on the lead, if she runs off after it I will never get her to come back!

          • Actually possums can do quite a bit of damage if they’re cornered so it’s probably better Jack never gets to see her monster on the ground!

          • She is a typical Jack Russell too and will take on anything without thinking.

            She is not allowed out during the sunniest part of the day at the moment because she wants the big lizards and they are too precious to eat! I am also scared that she will take on a snake, and that cannot end well at all 😦

          • Yeah, I’m worried about snakes as well but I think Mogi is much too cautious to take on anything unfamiliar. Either that or the alpacas discourage the snakes. I certainly hope so at any rate. 🙂

  5. That is quite possibly the best noise I’ve ever heard! I love it! I heard a rather similar noise come out of an American opossum (the only American marsupial – you guys got all the best ones!) once when I was a kid. I was walking by a trashcan at a relative’s house one night and heard this incredibly loud growling/hissing noise coming out of it. I hadn’t ever seen a possum before (we didn’t live in a place that had them at the time), so I had no idea what could possibly make a noise like that. My aunt looked in, laughed, and then shook out this little 5 inch long baby possum. It was adorable! Minus the horrid screeching/hissing/growling it was making, of course. It’s crazy how much sound can come out of something like this!

    • We did get some pretty good critters didn’t we. Imagine the early settlers of our countries hearing those kinds of noises. I bet there wasn’t too much nighttime wandering away from camp at the start! Stories about monsters wouldn’t have to be stretched too far if this kind of thing was coming out of the darkness.

      It would be really hard to reconcile a scary noise with a tiny baby possum in a bin. It is a good defence mechanism that’s for sure!

      • Okay, I’m sure you get totally sick of hearing this from outsiders, but weren’t most of your early settlers prisoners? They might have had a bit of a different attitude toward the natural world and scary nighttime noises than you or I might… You really did get the best animals though! And speaking of crazy noises coming out of animals: Tasmanian devils are the best! They sound downright evil, yet they’re SO cute!

        I really need to come visit your country. Seeing a platypus in the wild would be the highlight of my life I think.

        • Yes they were. I never get sick of hearing it except for those times it is used in a derogatory way. We are proud! 😀 It is only others who think we should be ashamed of it. My ancestors were an interesting variety of both hardworking free and rat bag convict settlers.

          I think that the difference between Old Blighty and Aussie bush probably made the newly arrived convicts feel even further away from home than before. I wonder if the scary bush noises were a welcome change from the trip over spent in the smelly and confined bowels of the convict ships?

          Tasmanian Devils are great creatures. You want to pick them up and give them a hug but they sound like they are being horribly murdered even when they are just hanging happily with their friends!

          I love platypus and have been lucky enough to see one in the wild pretty much outside my front door in a place we lived years ago. Definitely a highlight. I found this clip of a wild platy that was taken not too far away from here just for you 🙂

          • Well, I’m glad I wasn’t insulting you then. One of my friends is from Melbourne and she doesn’t particularly like to be reminded of Australia’s dark past. I personally don’t have anything against it. The US was founded by a bunch of religious zealots who decided England wasn’t prudish enough and later burned witches, so who am I to say that a bunch of convicts are a bad beginning? 🙂

            Thanks for the platypus video! My sister went to Australia about 6 or 7 years ago and asked what I wanted as a souvenir. She was planning to go to the part of the country with the platypus, so I told her to bring me back a rock from a stream where she saw one. Then she crashed her car and never made it that far on the bus, so I never did get my rock and she never did see a platypus. Instead, she brought me back and awesome painting of a platypus done by an Aboriginal artist. I love that painting! Thousands of little dots making up one of my very favorite animals. I’m so envious you have seen them in the wild!

          • Having convict ancestors seems to be quite fashionable these days! I think all countries have a dubious beginning and there is no point being ashamed of it. We should be proud that they were able to survive and succeed at all. Imagine if tomorrow we were swept up and dumped in a strange place with no backup? I doubt it would have all gone as well if I was in charge! 🙂

            Too bad you never got your souvenir rock but to have an Aboriginal art platypus is better than nothing. I have a small piece on the wall of Honey ants that we bought from an old Aboriginal lady in Alice Springs. They are painted all over the walls etc there and are apparently quite common but in our time there I didn’t see a single one! At least I bought some painted ones home 🙂

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeypot_ant

          • I just bought one of Alex Wild’s photos of honey pot ants! I would love to have an Aboriginal painting of them too. If I ever make it to Australia, I’m going to look for one!

  6. I don’t think you have a truly Aussie backyard unless it has a resident possum. We’ve had them at several houses and in or on the roof at night – they wake you in the most ungodly manner. The possum at TA must be a rellie of your possum, as it’s loud, grumpy & unfriendly. The G.O. was insistent the noises on the roof were the neighbour’s cats, despite me saying possum. Up he went for a look, and down he came twice as quick, possum in hot pursuit. Possum 1 – G.O. nil. Of a night it gallumps down the driveway and hits the front gate with the force of an angry bull. It likes to dig up the lawn around the trees & shrubs to get to the roots but beyond that, it and everything else get food opportunities equally as we chuck the scraps over the back fence into the paddock beyond… that way other than the neighbour’s cat, who we like, oh and the rainbow lorries who will stalk us if necessary… nothing feels at home coming in & around the house. The rose petal story made me laugh at loud… can you imagine… 🙂

    • The rose petal incident was hilarious, such a grand romantic gesture… totally ruined 🙂

      I can imagine the G.O.’s surprise when the cat he was so sure of turned out to be a possum. They certainly don’t like to be disturbed!

      You are right, possums really are one of the Aussiest of household critters. Possums on the roof, parrots on the verandah rail and magpies waiting for bread out on the lawn. That and the bloody neighbours cats loitering around being a nusiance 😉

      It is funny how some animals get so used to being with humans isn’t it? We used to have a family of magpies who would wander inside and help themselves to anything of interest the kitchen if the back door wasn’t shut.

  7. I am looking forward to catching up on my blog reading during time off over Christmas, but for now this post of grumpy possums is very satisfying! I have shared on Facebook with my newly ex-patriot British friends in Sydney. Didn’t fully appreciate how scary a grumpy possum was until watching that clip – what is that noise? It’s unearthly! A very unhappy creature in that tree!

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