Dead Possum On The Road

Hi TLG readers. Here’s a little ditty I wrote about my ethical quandary about possums.

I grew up in Australia and we were taught to call ‘1800InjuredAnimals’ whenever a koala, roo, or possum was hit by a car or attacked by a dog. We were also taught to check pouches for babies and then how to nurture them until a wildlife rescue person arrived. They are protected wildlife.

Since living in NZ, I have had trouble adjusting to the idea of possum’s being pests; they are left for dead, trapped, hunted, or poisoned like rats. Thing is, they are a pest here. They devour NZ native vegetation and eat eggs of endangered birds, and the birds themselves. And, they carry bovine Tb disease.

It’s not their fault that they were introduced at a stupid risk by humans in 1837 for the fur trade, or that they population is high because people continue to earn a salary hunting them, even making a profit from possum meat and fur: “In 1981, the best year for trappers, 3.2 million skins were exported.” The least we can do now is give them a quick and painless death.

Anyway, here’s my road-raging ditty 🙂

Image by Marco Verch Professional P

Dead Possum On The Road

Dead possum on the road
Aussie’s friend, Aotearoa’s foe
Where were ya trying to go?
Guess you didn’t quite make it home.

Dead possum in the night
Didn’t look left and ya didn’t look right
Now ya brain’s being served a la carte
To the hawk with a fork, taking a bite

Dead possum wanna know
Why it’s mates been so fatigued?
Wants 1080 reasons why
Noone gives a shit how it dies.

Dead possum listens well
To this hiker’s rhetoric written in hell
‘Cos I’m advocating for the devil
About the NZ possum’s peril:

Why’s no one put their breaks on?
Why’s the chicken always make it
Why did history punch the future
With it’s pest infestation?

Now poss has got to ride it
All the way to do or die and
We don’t bat a lid
We all just drive on by

And leave the carcass on the road
For hiker’s to avoid
Unless you’re just like me
Stumped like a dead punga tree

Telling dead possum
That’s its really not its fault
That human history brought it here
To play the role of (economical) enemy

Dead possum on the road