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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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wild animal kingdom
children of dune - leto 1
I think the best part of my morning so far is the fact that wandering around among the cars today was a opossum.

A opossum. All casual like, kind of bitchy, wondering why the Explorer is standing in the way of where she wants to go.

Hmm. Is that the right spelling? Possum. Opossum. Oppossum? 'Possum.

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Opossum is correct, although around here, we generally call them "possums."

And I might add that they give me the willies. They are like giant, long-haired rats, even though I know they are actually marsupials.

See, I had possum, then stared at the entry and rewrote it to opossum. I've just never, you know, written it before.

They kind of vaguely remind me of a rat-ferrt crossbreed. Very archy.

Around here we call them 'road kill'.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To prove to the possum it could be done. Heh. ;P

They are ugly, and they hiss. Also, they give the impression they could handily kick your ass, despite the 150 pound weight difference.

I really dislike opossums. They are mean, rat-like creatures with huge entitlement issues, and will attack anything. (Not to mention that they have glowy red eyes when the light catches their faces at night, so they look seriously creepy. )

*blinks* Red eyes? Are you kidding?

...I really had no idea.

Yep. This is in fact true. Be very careful of your garbage if this happened around your house, dude. Double bag, brick on the lid of the can, whatever. You don't want these beasties thinking your house is the food emporium.

*shivers* I am less enchanted.

Red eyes. Dear God.

And watch out for your animals. They sometimes take down anything less than a coyote, and even then we've seen a coyote take some heavy damage.

If you want to be technical, opossums are the American version, possums are the Australian version. But possum is also an acceptable vernacular for Opossum. So.

Huh. Are the two types similar?

*thoughtful* Possum. Ooh. Beverly Hillbillies, possum pie!

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seriously, that idea gives me the willies. Wow.

That's kind of cool. Of course, the only opossum story that I have is that friends of mine who have a large greyhound and thus a large dog door, awoke one morning to an opossum in their front hall. And as Medford does not have an animal control officer, because Medford is special like that, they had to call the police. And the officer who arrived was unprepared for dealing with opossums: "Well, do I shoot it?" Eventually I think they called the fire department and there were trash cans involved.

*long-suffering* I have had opossums as nearly nightly visitors to my porch (and inside my house on one never-to-be-repeated occasion, omg) since I moved into my grandmother's trailer, which is in the woods, almost literally.

Raccoons are there, too, but at least they're cute thieves. Opossums are not nice. My mother thinks the idea of wild animals coming onto my porch to eat the cats' food is adorable, and wanted me to encourage them. O_o

I just don't tell her I keep cat door closed while the cats are eating, and don't leave food out overnight anymore. She still asks me, wistfully, if I ever see the racoons and possums. Gah.

Cool. I like furry critters, even if they're ugly.

I still remember the first time I saw an opossum. I'm from the west where we don't have them, so when I saw this big grey streak run out of the outside stairwell of the high rise I was living in in Virginia, I didn't know what it was at first. I remember it flashing through my mind: "what's wrong with that cat's tail... er, holy shit that's the biggest rat I've ever seen!... oh, so that's what an opposum looks like outside a book, huh."

I was fascinated because they were one of those things I saw illustrations and mentions of all the time but had never actually seen.

It was sort of like my first trip to the east coast when I was 14 and saw fireflies for the first time, only, you know, uglier.

I'm just dropping in to say it should be 'an opossum.' I'm so anal about stuff like that....lol.

We had an opossum in our backyard for a bit, and my mom had me look it up and see if it ate bunnies. I lied and said that no, no it didn't. It sat on the fence a lot, very creepily. And just went around being huge.

Opossums are not especially attractive, no. But I have to give them props as a marsupial that actually increased its range when North and South America were reconnected. South America had a lot of marsupials that are no longer with us, but the opossum came north and flourished.

It does seem sometimes that the most beautiful creatures are the ones that demand a pristine glacial lake, or a soil type that exists in only one place on Earth, or a range of ten thousand square miles of unbroken forest to survive. On the other hand, we do tend to devalue what's in our face, stealing our garbage or pooping on our golf courses. Ivory-billed woodpeckers would be worse than pigeons as a thriving urban species.

But who are we to talk? We humans are everywhere, spreading disease and pests and filth and concrete, and the prettiest of us is still a badly dressed ape. Canada geese have much better karma.

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