Sunday, July 01, 2007

Is this a possum I see before me?

Saw Bridge to Terebithia today. Never read the book: remember picking it up when I was ten or so and flicking it open to a sad bit, so I put it back down again.

There is this scene where the young lad Jesse gets up early to fetch the trap from the greenhouse before his father can get there, to save the beast that is making a mess of the greenhouse from its well deserved fate as a serial pest. He takes the cage out into the woods and lets the beast go. I was expecting the beast to be a raccoon. It isn't, though. It looked like a possum. Not a rat-faced Virginia opposum, such as might realistically be found rummaging through greenhouses in Virginia, but the cuddly sort of dinky-di possum that you would find rummaging through greenhouses in New Zealand, where they filmed the movie. Admittedly it was only on the screen for a few instants, but I can't think of any North American animal that would look like that. If you see the movie, please look carefully, gentle readers, and let me know what you think. Possum, or not? I haven't been able to find any references to possums (as opposed to oppossums) being introduced pests anywhere in North America, so my working hypothesis is that the movie is actually set in a parallel universe where New Zealand is part of the United States. Take that, David Lange!


Marco said...

Mental note: find out what other marsupials reside in NZ. Wouldn't surprise me if a few ferrel ones migrated since European settlement.

Dr. Clam said...

The Wikipedia article, updated since I wrote this, confirms that it is indeed a possum.