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The strange, the bizarre and the unexpected

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  • DonGuy47 I see where you went with this. Haha!

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    • sounds like an ep of Horrible Histories...

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      • and now for something completely different....

        On Sunday my Mother was explaining why she had to cut down her cherry tree, as it turns out it was rotten on the inside, so it was a good thing. Mother had to cut down the cherry tree because of the squirrels, which we do not have in Australia. The squirrels (which we do not have) were using the cherry tree as a bridge from the garage to the shed. It was suggested that she might mean possums, which we have a proliferation of. "Oh, yes", said Mother, "the possums, but really possums and squirrels are nearly the same thing though".

        It was Mothers Day, so there were 15 people in the room, which made for a noisy environment, and Mother misheard what I said next...which was, "I really prefer squirrels though, as long as they don't have rabies (which we also don't have in Australia)". "Oh!", said Mother, "I wouldn't want squirrels covered in gravy either, what a dreadful mess that would make!".

        Words twisted, mind boggled, have a nice day!

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        • Speaking of possums, I learned recently that your Australian "possums" are *not* the same as my American "opossums". Trying to train myself to pronounce the extra "O", though it sounds weird. Also, the other day I rescued a baby Opossum. Mom -- covered in gravies, I mean babies -- had tried to slither under a fence, and baby got confused and clung to the fence. Mom managed to extract baby from the fence, but then it happened again, and by then my cat was right up in her face, being curious. Mom decided to leave baby behind, and shuffle away! I got the baby off the fence, and chased after Mom, with my cat following behind. Mama shuffled faster. Finally, cat and I managed to corner Mom, so that I could place baby close enough to Mom that they found each other. Hmm, can we attach videos here? "Maximum size exceeded." Bummer. I had to stop filming anyway, needed both hands to pry baby off the fence. Clingy!
          Last edited by DonGuy47; 05-12-2021, 08:45 PM.

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          • Which of course meant I had to google the difference...wow! Whilst I might prefer non rabid squirrels to possums, I definitely prefer possums to opposums. The "O's" have sharp teeth and are kinda mean looking....good for you for trying to rescue the baby though (probably saved your cat too). We have two types of possums, ringtails...small, waaaay cute, live in trees or possum boxes at my house, to protect them from crows...and brushtails, which are bigger and we tend to catch and rehome, because they love ten pin bowling in the roof at night and burrowing into wall cavities. I didn't even know North America had marsupials, so...yaaay you guys! (marsupials are cool, even the evil looking ones).

            In New Zealand, where brushtail possums were introduced (no one knows why), there is a bounty on them. The Brits gave us foxes, rabbits (a gift that keeps on giving), pigs and goats and someone gave us camels. Yup, we have wild camels...like we didn't have enough weird creatures already.

            If anyone can top a platypus (you can hear the banjos playing with them), let me know.

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            • Then you have definitely not seen my cousin Jerome!

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              • Here's an opossum I found in a bag of garden debris. I think it was attracted to the rotting tomatoes.
                Attached Files

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                • ooohhh, that's creepy......should we name it Jerome, and keep it?

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                  • Comes the time when and Spike encountered an opossum, with great drama. The opossum was moving through our property when we released the two dogs for the evening. It was early in the winter, but still very snowy and quite wet. (Note to Floppers -- the temperature was perhaps 1 or 2, and falling). Sophie had had an embolism on her spine and had relearned to walk only with extensive therapy but was still all dog and not yet old. Spike was young and male and willing to let Sophie lead. Sophie found the opossum and (being a golden retriever) took the opossum with her to the base of the stairs to the house and let everyone know that a major triumph should be declared. (If you think I had an extensive background in Latin, you are correct). The opossum did what opossums do and played the defunct card. The two human players in this drama were my wife and myself. I would usually have been in charge of the dogs, but I was very ill and lying flat and feeling wretched. So my wife exited to see what occasioned the triumph. And slipped and fell on the porch, giving herself what proved to be an enormous hematoma from the edge of the concrete stairs, while simultaneously putting her face to face with what seemed to be a dead opossum. Her screams brought me from my sickbed to the pleasant exterior, from whence I could help my wife inside, remove the opossum from the attentions of Sophie and Spike to the bottom of an empty garbage can, and get both dogs back inside again. My wife could barely move. I didn't want to move. The dogs thought this was paradise and I should do it again. This was act one. Act two came the next morning, when I examined the garbage can to discover that "playing possum" was not just a metaphor. Act three was calling the village office, who told me that they had no animal control officers and the possum was all my responsibility. So I did the responsible thing, and pulled the can to my neighbor's property (outside my fence, and I didn't like him at ALL for a number of good reasons) and released the opossum, which moved as quickly as an opossum can move (not very) and headed away from all the drama and all the humans in the whole world, and good luck to it. Floppers, this is all true. Every word. I hope you're laughing as hard for my true story as I did for yours.

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                    • Speaking of Australian species that have the same name as other species but are quite different, I was amazed when I learned about Australian magpies. European magpies are quite pretty, and not very aggressive. When I first saw pictures of Australians fending off "magpies" with frying pans, I was very confused.

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                      • oh, bwt1213, I haven't laughed so much since...the gravy covered squirrels of Mothers Day! You couldn't script that!

                        and Kate, bicycle riders here have cable/zip ties sticking up all over their helmets to try to stop those Magpies...they dive bomb dogs, cats, possums, mirrors, and people. They are extremely territorial. We have a football team here named The Magpies, and their supporters live up to the habits of the bird...

                        Unlike supporters of The Magpies, the Australian version are clever in some ways. A neighbour feeds a magpie family with minced beef, if he doesn't give them their breakfast by 7.30am, they knock on his door to alert him. After they have had their fill, Mud and Moose are invited the final tidbits, and to vac up the left overs from the lawn, the younger magpies, come to my house to tell the dogs when they have had their fill. Unfortunately, they share a tree with some brushtail possums, and sometimes have noisy altercations in the dead of the night.

                        If you have the need to fend off a magpie with a frying pan, I recommend you use a mirror too. You can look, via the mirror, for the magpie coming from behind, and at the last moment, duck and flip up the frying pan. Then give the dazed magpie a stern talking too. (The local constabulary could probably use the same method to catch supporters of The Magpies).

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                        • Kind of on topic... SQUIRRELISTICALLY doesn't work here. I'm sure that it's just an oversight.

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                          • SQUIRRELGRAVYLISTIC, maybe?

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