The plan was to return to the farm after 5 days, but, as is often the case, things didn’t go according to plan and our return was delayed by a week. Which was no big deal for me but quite possibly a life-changing deal for a local possum.
When we opened the door it looked like a storm had blown through. There were only 1 or 2 pieces of furniture and some buckets, mops and old newspapers lying around when we left. When we returned, mops and buckets were tipped over, toilet paper was unrolled, the fireplace screen had fallen down and there were several puddles of water on the floor. We briefly thought some freak storm with whirlwinds blew through. But the puddles weren’t under wet spots on the ceiling and what kind of wind blows down an iron fireplace screen? Our minds settled on the fact that an animal had been trapped inside, running amok, trying to escape. Piles of poo near sliding doors reinforced this opinion.
Then we went into the master bedroom and found this in one of the high cupboards.
A brushtail possum and… we thought maybe a furry toy but had to conclude a young possum, were hiding in the closet. (Editor’s note: Thanks to Willowcreek Farm, I have re-concluded that the furry toy is the possum’s tail. Well, I’m embarrassed!) There are 2 possible explanations for what happened: 1) While Frank was enthusiastically clearing the roof of overhanging branches and leaf rubble, the possum took refuge in the quiet house. Or 2) The possum fell down the freshly-swept chimney.
Whatever caused it, a possum had been trapped in the empty Richmond house for 12 days with no food or water. I would have never thought that was physically possible so maybe explanation 2 is what happened and she only fell a couple of days before we returned? Though the thought of a possum falling down a chimney isn’t comforting either.
We opened the sliding door, shut the bedroom door and left her alone. We returned after dark to find the bedroom empty. I hope she had a good feed and drink and survived the ordeal both physically and emotionally. I will try never to think of this drama again because it sort of freaks me out to imagine the terror of the poor possum going around and around and around trying to find a way out of her prison cell. Eeek.