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Possum, part 3

11/05/2013

possum007possum008possum009I showed this comic to my dad and he told me that he got a big glove to take the possum out of the fire. He didn’t remember the fire being alight, but I distinctly remembered the disgusting, sweet smell of burning possum flesh. So who is right? Memory is very unreliable, particularly the memories of a writer/cartoonist.

Oh, and I’m spamming you with comics because I want to remind you that I will be at Chromacon tomorrow, from 9am at the Aotea Centre, with Matt from Pikitia Press. I will be selling my comics and some original artwork. Come along!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/05/2013 2:20 pm

    Great yarn Sarah. Let me return the favour. When I was about 14 my dad and I had a possum cornered in one of our farm sheds. Dad lined it up to shoot it, with the tip of the barrel only a couple of feet away from his victim. Before he could pull the trigger the possum leapt onto the barrel, ran up the rifle like a tightrope walker, onto dad’s shoulder, down his back and out the door. It happened so fast dad was still frozen in the firing squad position when the possum was gone. (The ending isn’t so good for animal lovers – my trusty dog was on hand to grab the escapee. I don’t think dad ever quite lived it down.)

  2. david geary permalink
    13/05/2013 10:01 am

    We had the possum stuck in the chimney drama, too. It was hooked out from above and a mercy killing needed. Ken Duncum has the best possum stories. I shared some on Ashleigh Young’s blog. When Ken was very young he and his brother set up the Rotorua Fur Trading Company. They finally caught one and would try and skin it each day after school. Giving up on Day 3! He also has a great possum shooting as rite of passage story. His grandfather was big in the NDA – National Deerstalkers Association. A neighbour rushed around one evening as Ken and his bro were watching Thunderbirds. The neighbour had a possum up a tree at their place. Grandfather promptly turned the tv off, grabbed his gun, and marched the protesting brothers around to the house. The possum was frozen in a torch beam up a tree in the backyard. Grandfather took over the torch and Ken’s brother was instructed to load the gun and shoot the pest. But he was so nervous he fumbled and dropped the bullet. Grandad dropped the torch momentarily to search for it, and the possum took off, never to be seen again. Grandad was furious, Ken’s brother was shamed, failing a crucial step to manhood… and they’d missed the end of the Thunderbirds. A classic Kiwi tragedy. Also, for some reason I recall that Selwyn Toogood declared he swerved across the road to run down possums, that’s how much he hated them. I always expected to hear that he died this way. Myself, I was a junior possum trapper, desperate for a Davy Crockett hat, but that’s another story…

  3. david geary permalink
    14/05/2013 12:25 pm

    Oh, and then there was the vet I met in Whakatane who was selling live possums to Japan rebranded as ‘apple-eating tree bears’. He was declawing them and de-stink-glanding them, and hoping they would take off as pets in Japan, and solve our pest problem at home. Unfortunately, possums are nocturnal so hated being kept in bright lights, and couldn’t be house-trained so shat and scratched as per usual, even without claws. Thus the dream died? Oh, and locals where I grew up in Rangiwahia would occasionally bake possum pies and trick their mates into eating them. They bring out the Kiwi Psycho better than anything else. We may try and be clean and green, and embrace warm fuzzy things, but when it comes to possums it is ‘exterminate with extreme prejudice’ – gin traps, cyanide, shooting, roadkill, we can’t accept them as sentient beings. Perhaps because they never belonged in NZ in the first place.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      14/05/2013 8:01 pm

      What great possum stories! Actually I think I might have been reminded of mine reading your comments on Ashleigh’s blog… it’s all coming back to me…

  4. sarahbb permalink
    19/05/2013 8:19 pm

    This reminds me of Jared’s burning bird story – do you remember that? Just as gruesome.

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