Ms Possum’s Country Sojourn
Well possums, sometimes Ms Possum works a bit too hard in the relentless fight against pests, so it was time for a country sojurn over a long weekend to get bright eyed and bushy tailed again!
So she was off to the outskirts of Blenheim, a sleepy town at the top of the South Island. The area is renowned for its endless hectares of vines which produce New Zealand’s world class Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and other amazing wine varieties. Ms Possum drinks nothing else during her nocturnal adventures in her hometown up North!
And, not only is the wine to die for, the region also produces mouth-watering olive oil and honey – it’s a gourmand’s paradise!
The bit of R&R gave me a chance to commune with animals other than those of my namesake. I must admit though, there were times when we ran over something lumpy on the road, and the evidence suggested that there were one or two less of my Possum friends for the Tannery; ugh! No, I wasn’t tempted to scrape the two-dimensional ex-life forms off the road – Ms Possum does have to maintain some semblance of dignity after all. Not only that, but I was on holiday!
Fortunately, no reputation had preceded me, so I was able to go incognito and meet the animals who lived nearby and welcomed me to their paddocks with open hooves.
This mini pony literally bounced over to say “Hi”. He wanted to know what I had in my pockets and loved the tall stems of lush green grass I had picked for him. He did try to tell me that the stalk part was not palatable – ok, so I’m a city girl! I horse whispered to him for ages and he told me he wanted an all over head massage, which of course, I obligingly gave him.
Next it was to the big horse paddock. The two great big creatures were previously aloof, but mini pony must have put in a good word, because they soon stooped to give me some time of day. A bit of choice grass their way helped to break the ice between us.
The two black and two white sheep next door proved that apartheid doesn’t exist in their neck of the woods. After baa-ing at me initially as an unwelcome interloper, they also succumbed to the succulent culinary items on offer. Thank goodness they didn’t know I produced baby lamb jackets!
At the mud brick house bordering a vineyard where I was staying, was KoKo the Birman cat. He was delighted at Ms Possum’s visit and couldn’t resist disguising his legs with one of Possum New Zealand’s “Harlequin” striped possum fur scarves. Yep, there is something about possum fur that sends cats into Seventh Heaven. KoKo loves chasing his possum off-cut which is attached to a lead – keeps him amused for ages!
Lo and behold, we spotted a pesky little hare playing peek-a-boo with us down the driveway. Unfortunately, the South Island is overrun with these creatures that eat anything and everything growing in the area – it’s quite a problem for the fruit and vege growers, as well as the native flora and fauna. Perhaps there is the making of a new industry here… hmmm…
Just as I was forgetting myself, I met a friend’s dog inadvertently named after me! Yep, “Possum” is super hyper, super friendly and finds it hard to sit still. Naturally, I felt an immediate affinity with this beautiful dog, and I thought possums of one kind or another are always popping into my life!
Then it was on to visit another friend who lives in a beautiful three-acre estate, bordering a stream. Sipping tea in the sumptuously appointed living room, complete with possum fur throw, I spied a huge rifle nonchalantly placed against the burr walnut dresser near the front door. “It’s to shoot the starlings in the roof” I was told after I expressed surprise at this incongruous, non designer décor item. “But of course” I said, suspecting every Blenheim home had one. Obviously my host was a crack shot, because I didn’t notice one buckshot hole in the pristine ceiling! It was reassuring to know that someone else had to deal with pest problems, and suddenly Ms Possum felt she was not entirely alone in her crusade to restore nature to its correct equilibrium.
Back on the road, I encountered other creatures such as herds of Friesian cows’ dotted (excuse the pun) in amongst the vineyards. As we didn’t get a chance to stop to take another pic, my hosts kindly obliged me with a “mock moo-moo” in my quarters (excuse the alliteration).
So there you have it, Ms Possum goes rural, meets other critters and broadens her outlook on the animal kingdom. It was a lovely weekend meeting creatures great and small. Now it’s back to the animal Ms Possum knows best, as she prepares to keep the Northern Hemisphere “warm as a bug in a rug” for the coming winter.
See y’all later Possums!
From Ms Possum wearing New Zealand Swandrii Jacket and Gumboots (possum fur trimmed of course!)