A little possum magic up north
For Chaos, look no further than a possum in a library, as Kristi Pritchard-Owens discovers.
31 August 2022
It’s just possible a new sub-species of possum has been discovered among the shelves of the Wollumbin High School library – one that enjoys a good book, loves to learn, and doesn’t mind making a mess.
But lacking a library card, the marsupial resorted to breaking and entering to get its paws on the latest Young Adult titles at the Murwillumbah school.
School librarian Susie Hall explains: “I opened the library door and wandered over to this section of shelves, only to observe this cute, black, four-legged destructor ambling up the shelves, knocking books over.
“He disappeared into the roof above the air-conditioner and hibernated during the day.”
Nicknamed ‘Chaos’ by Ms Hall, the cheeky creature – thought to be a mountain brushtail possum – certainly lived up to its moniker by leaving a mess of books and equipment during its regular nocturnal visits.
Despite forgetting the basic library rules of ‘Silence’ and returning books to their rightful shelves, the possum’s visits proved popular with Wollumbin High’s students.
“The overwhelming consensus was that he was seriously cute but was not following the school expectations of acting safely and being respectful,” Ms Hall said.
Local WIRES volunteers were called in to remove and release the possum, but the mission failed.
And just when staff thought some ‘Possum Magic’ might be required to get Chaos out, Ms Hall said “he simply walked out the front door and started rummaging through students' bags”.
“We removed the bags and Chaos wandered down the corridor, down the steps and into our lush rainforest gardens,” she said.
The nightly visits to the library have now ceased but Chaos has been spotted a few times in the school’s gardens.