Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Possum-flue

Note the concluding 'e'!  This is the tale of the possum down the chimney, not an alert from WHO!

During the day there had been very little noise from the flue of the stove, leading me to think that whatever had been making the noise had either died or removed itself.  However, to quote many gravestones it was “not dead, just sleeping” and became active while we had an excellent tea.

I decided we couldn’t leave it there to starve to death as that would be:

  1. Cruel to the possum
  2. Likely to lead to:
    1. the fire being full of maggots and/or blowies; and
    2. the house being stunk out  

Frances was very reasonably, based on experience, concerned about what was going to get wrecked if the beast emerged and charged around the house. So 

  • everything was cleared away; 
  • small dog was removed from the anticipated scene of mayhem; and 
  • a barricade was erected to direct any descending marsupials out of the door on to the deck.  
Second step was to remove the baffle in the stove.  During this process I was very aware that if the possum came out in a hurry my face was likely to be on the preferred route!
Here is the sight that greeted me.  A possum patootie!
To my surprise the marsupial did not immediately succumb to gravity but remained in place.  Indeed with a little application of the sharper end of a poker there was more scrabbling and the bum moved higher.  Clearly, given incentive the indolent beast could climb (probably using the chimney technique).  Given the shape and size of the firebox I needed something bendy to provide this stimulus and a well drained hosepipe fitted the bill nicely.

There was a little resistance felt – possibly I should have applied some lubricant before the air-enema? Then Frances, who had been positioned outside to see what emerged from the chimney, called that something was up there.  This turned out to be some small claws.

An ear emerges also.
The little blighter stayed in this position for several minutes, causing me to wonder if it was going to be able to emerge.
A final shove (I was beginning to contemplate connecting the hose) and he ran out and away into the trees.  I then thought about what to do to prevent a recurrence.  My first go – as I couldn’t find any chook wire - was to put a large can over the chimney. 


This didn't fit so a milk crate was used instead to cover the aperture.
This might make it difficult to get the fire to draw so a warning note was placed on the fireplace.

This is an example of the species, seen the next night walking across the power lines.

Here are links to other parts of this saga:

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