However, there is more to Virginia Opossum than simply “playing possum.” The most ancient of marsupials, She has not only survived the placental mammals coming into her territory, but also expanded her territory from South America to North America. An excellent climber, Virginia Opossum has thumbs on her hind feet to help her grip tree branches. In addition, her prehensile tail is capable of grasping a branch (Contrary to popular folklore, Virginia Opossum cannot hang upside down for long periods of time.)
After their initial encounters, Europeans regarded Virginia Opossum to be ingenious and versatile. In her search for food, She is both. Ranging far and wide, Virginia Opossum eats garbage from dumpsters, dead animals from roadsides, overripe fruit under trees, and rats in nearby homes. Virginia Opossum even eats poisonous snakes without being harmed.
However, Virginia Opossum is also known for her maternal caring. She gives birth to tiny underdeveloped young. Just after birth, her babies (joeys) crawl into her pouch, which faces towards to her rear. When her joeys are ready to come out, they cling to her back until they become adults.
(Adults are called Jacks and Jills, respectively.)
When She hunts for food, Virginia Opossum carries her joeys on her back. When they are grown, her joeys leave Her and take up their solitary lives.
Virginia Opossum teaches people to seize opportunities and make them theirs. Instead of having one territory, She wanders around eating what She finds. Because of her activities, some people regard this solitary and nocturnal animal as “nature’s clean-up crew.”
- Virginia Opossum’s Wisdom Includes:
- Expert Strategist
- Loving Mother
- Ingenious and Clever
- New Life Cloaked in Death
- Holding Opposing Points of View
- Transmutation of Poisons
Note: Virginia Opossum is also known as ‘Possum. However, Virginia Opossum is not the same as the Possum of Australia. They are different animals with the same name.