Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 146

Do you remember how I thought I was this great dog whisperer person? Well I now believe I am a possum whisperer. At least I did … until my whisper turned to a yell.

We have a possum around our suburban home and we nurture and welcome it. It has come down our chimney (not during winter when the fireplace is lit luckily) and graced our cream curtains with its sooty paws and it has feasted on our tomato patch and it has eaten fruit from our bowls and even dived head first into our range hood vent on the roof where it has been rescued from time to time by Derek. Last night it visited with either a mate or a baby (we can’t work out which) and I declared I was the Steve Irwin of the marsupial world and decided to feed it by hand. I went out to the tree with some cut up apple and offered my treasure for the magic one. He/she didn’t run away as it has done in the past, and as I was inches from it, it reached down to sample my snack. How cool is that! The apple dropped and I apologised. Don’t worry I said, I have another! I was so into the David Attenborough moment and I didn’t want to fail. I offered up more apple and snap! it grabbed it with its chompers … only to once again lose the apple to the dirt below and leave us in another apple-less moment of awkwardness. As I offered the final piece it dived in (not wanting to miss out for a third time apparently) grabbing my finger with both claws to secure it’s dinner, and took a massive bite of both the apple and my finger. That’s where the whispering ended and the screaming began ….

I screamed, it grunted, and we both ran in opposite directions – me crying, it hissing … and both of us feeling very unsatisfied. As I type this my right index finger is throbbing with a piercing on both sides (and claw scratches in between) and blood gushing through the Bandaid. Do I need to get stitches? I am too afraid to look. Do I need a rabies shot? No, I live in Australia. Will I be feeding more possums? Well …. I don’t know … I’m a slow learner.

When I was 10 years old I tried to feed a possum a scotch finger biscuit and the exact same thing happened. You think I would have learned my lesson the first time around. Apparently not! 30 years later all I have done is improved the diet of the Australian native – from scotch finger fingers to apple flavoured fingers. Trying to touch type with one digit gushing blood is not really working for me. It’s messing up the keyboard and sending little slivers of pain up my hand. I think my time as a possum whisperer is done and I can now finally mark that waiver-esque experience from my list. Once I stop crying and can type with a full set of 10 fingers again …. I may get back to you. But right now my pride and finger hurt too much. Hospital run anyone?


  1. Ouch! You are a brave woman hand feeding it! Did you need stitches? Ps, I know it's wrongvto laugh about this but I love the humourous way you wrote about this. Lol

  2. I hope your finger is ok Leanne, all Zookeepers have war wounds from animals chomps, scratches and butts. One keeper I worked with used to glorify in the variety of animals he had been chomped etc. So glorify in the fact you have the mark of a possum.
    Thanks for the amazing comments yesterday, I had tears in my eyes this morning as my mum and dad left.

  3. Oh, you poor thing. You probably don't need a rabies shot (lol) but it might not be a bad thing to get a tetanus shot if you haven't had one in the last ten years!

  4. First time visit to your blog today and was compelled to comment after reading this funny story. Hope this incident hasn't scarred you for life, I now have a terrible fear of emus after a similar 'feeding gone wrong' scenario.


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