Friday, 30 March 2012

Possum Prodding

Comfortable possum

For the last month or so, I’ve been waking up at about 3am and wondering why.

You know the feeling. You find yourself abruptly awake, but have no idea precisely why. You have a strong apprehension that something has caused it, but no idea what.

The fact that your partner is obviously still in the land of nod simply confuses the picture.

I reckon I have the ability, developed in SVN all those years ago, for my subconscious to know when something is not right. I could always sleep through routine artillery fire missions, characteristically very noisy, but a quiet movement at night out somewhere in the scrub when we were patrolling would always wake me.

Then it was an asset – now it’s a pain in the proverbial. It’s called hyper vigilance, by the way.

Anyway, this 3am waking was becoming a pest.

This mid-morning, a startled scream from my bride who was in the bedroom led me to investigate. She had pulled a drawer out in our pretty large bedroom dressing table to reveal a chubby and startled possum comfortably ensconced therein.

This critter had obviously decided that the area beneath and behind the dressing table provided a secure daytime refuge. The 3am noises that had routinely woken me were this possum coming in through the very large picture window adjacent to the dressing table, and settling down for a kip.

He/she was sleek and fat and obviously well fed. He/she was also in our bedroom. Now my bride, brought up on a farm in wildest FNQ* is generally tolerant of furry creatures, but she made it clear that this uninvited miscreant was not welcome.

He had to go. I called my adult son, home at the moment, for backup. He told me a blood curdling story about a mate who tried to remove a possum from student digs in Brisbane. The story goes that the possum attacked, ran up his arm, and inflicted deep cuts and abrasions to neck and shoulders. He was not at all keen to help.

I opened the window to it fullest extent, grabbed a broom handle, and with a little gentle prodding, furry friend was persuaded to vacate via said window. He/she scurried across the roof below the window, and disappeared into a tree, making hissy noises which I interpreted as possum cursing.

That was a relief, as whilst I hold a current possum-catchers licence, earned after many episodes of possum removal in schools as principal, I had no possum traps. You were once able to hire them from the Toowoomba Regional Council if you held a licence.

We will need to acquire a screen for that window. Possums are creatures of habit and without one, nocturnal visits from our mate and his/her rellies are likely.

Hopefully 3am wakings are not.


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