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Today's quote:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

My nocturnal activities


These days my nocturnal activities are limited to feeding the resident possum and after one banana - peeled, of course - and an apple and a pear - both quartered to a 'handy' size - it's good-night from me and good-night from her.

Speaking of which - bananas, that is - did you hear the one about the woman and her infant daughter on a trans-Atlantic flight? A man seated nearby gets the woman's attention and says, "Lady, I hate to say this, but that is the most horrifyingly ugly baby I've ever laid eyes on." The lady bursts into tears and a flight attendant hurries over to see what the commotion is about. "This man is being rude and insulting," she tells the attendant. "We're sorry about your bad experience, ma'am," says the flight attendant. "I'll have the rude gentleman moved to a different seat on the plane, offer you a free flight voucher, and give you a couple of complimentary drink coupons. Would that help?" The lady was pleased with this arrangement, and thanked the flight attendant. "You're very welcome," the smiling flight attendant added, "and can I get you a banana for your monkey?"

Getting back to the possum, this one is the common brushtail possum which, like most possums, is nocturnal and a folivore which means it eats roots and leaves (without the comma). Its tail is naked on its lower underside and prehensile (I didn't know what this meant either but she obliged me by dangling from it).

Yes, I used the correct personal pronoun because it has been evident for some time that something is stirring inside her pouch which prompted me to read up on their - well - nocturnal activities:


The common brushtail possum can breed at any time of the year, but breeding tends to peak in spring, from September to November, and in autumn, from March to May, in some areas. Mating is promiscuous and random; some males can sire several young in a season while over half sire none. In one Queensland population, it apparently takes the males one month of consorting with females before they can mate with them. Females have a gestation period of 16–18 days, after which they give birth to a single young. A newborn brushtail possum is only 1.5 cm long and weighs only 2 grams. As usual for marsupials, the newborn brushtail possum may climb, unaided, through the female’s fur and into the pouch and attach to a teat. The young develops and remains inside the mother’s pouch for another four or five months. When older, the young is left in the den or rides on its mother’s back until it is seven to nine months old. Females reach sexual maturity when they are one year old, and males do so at the end of their second year. Brushtail possums can live up to 13 years in the wild. Read more here.


Sounds almost human, doesn't it? Especially the promiscuous bit (al-though the consorting with human females seems to have speeded up these days; in some cases it occurs even before they exchange names!)