We can’t control how those we care for grow up, no matter how hard we try. Take, for example, a rescued possum named Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox that was taken in by a human after the death of its mother, given every opportunity to succeed in the world, and ended up holding a woman hostage in her home last week anyway.
Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox became infamous after arriving at a house in Dunedin, New Zealand last Sunday to terrorize a hapless resident. The anonymous woman who suffered the wrath of Mrs. Lunchbox told Stuff that she was unloading her car around 11 p.m. last Sunday when she heard “rustling” near her house. “I thought ‘that’s weird,’ and as I was taking stuff from the back seat something ran up my leg,” she said. “I pulled it off me, thinking it was a cat, and then I saw it was a possum.”
This was not just any possum, but Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox herself. Mrs. Lunchbox, fired up by some unknowable possum fury, “kept on charging” at the woman until she retreated indoors. Even then, “every time the possum saw her through the glass doors, it ran at the glass.”
After trying to get help from local animal control, she was redirected to the Dunedin Central Police Station and explained that she was “being held hostage by a possum.”
The responding officer arrived and Mrs. Lunchbox shifted attention on to him, climbing up his body until the cop could “stun the possum” with his flashlight and trap her in a box “with some dried pet food.” She was then released at a nature reserve.
The Otago Daily Times reports that Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox—temporarily given the alias of the “Black Roads ripper” for the street it haunted—had been cared for by a local woman who said she ended up with the animal after she was passed off to her by “a possum trapper friend [who] trapped and killed Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox’s mother, but could not bring himself to kill the baby possum.”
For a while, Mrs. Scoby was kept in the trapper’s “lunchbox next to his sandwiches and carried ... in his backpack while he kept working.” She eventually ended up with her last caretaker, who planned to look after her until she was big enough to be set free.
This woman her, understandably wanting to defend her precious child’s actions, said her possum is “quite friendly with humans, hence the climbing up the leg situation ... but her claws were trimmed.” She now hopes to find Mrs. Lunchbox at the nature reserve so she can be spayed before being released again.
Hopefully this all works out and Mrs. Scoby Lunchbox is given a second chance to prove to the rest of us that she is, indeed, “quite friendly” and not a cold-hearted local menace after all.
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