2020 was a year we’ll remember for the worst reasons, but there were a few highlights. I learned, for example, what this was.
The artwork was covering a window or gap in an alley in Jackson, MS. I immediately took a shine to it because of the fierce creature’s eyes, the flowers and the (almost) heart shaped nose. But I had no idea what it was – it could have been imaginary for all I knew. We don’t have opossums in England. The nearest I could think of was an alternative badger with a tail and a decidedly uppity expression.
After my sweetheart rescued an orphaned baby ‘possum, Pogo, I found out a lot more about these quiet marsupials. Babies live in their mother’s pouch, emerging to ride precariously on her back, slipping and sliding with their siblings as she wanders patiently around. The white patches on their cute little ears seem to shrink as they grow older. Their back feet have opposing thumbs that, together with their prehensile tail, help them grip and balance as they climb.
‘Possums have the best snarl ever (and unleash it at the slightest provocation) but seem surprisingly gentle when push comes to shove.
My sweetheart kindly let me have a picture of a pocket-sized Pogo soon after he arrived. He had little fur back then, but had grown a thick coat by the time he was ready to fend for himself.
Some people aren’t keen on ‘possums, and I don’t think Mama would have approved, but they are efficient urban foragers, so are some of nature’s recyclers. I will admit that they are very noisy eaters, smacking their mouths in cheerful relish.
Pogo grew up healthy, stayed wild, and was released into the garden many months ago. His cage was left for him to sleep in if he’d wanted it, but he spurned the offer.
My sweetheart sometimes glimpses a ‘possum on his evening walk. He says it’s probably not Pogo as there are several in the neighbourhood, but I like to think it is.
Shared for Becky’s SquareUp. I searched online to find out more about the artist of the artwork who has signed SML (or MLS) but couldn’t find anything to link to.