Before my husband and I married, he lived here in Melbourne, and I lived in Houston. We talked on the phone daily, usually during his mornings and my evenings, but that would vary, and the time of day we spoke would inevitably influence what was taking place in our surrounding environments. The first conversation we ever had about possums, which are nocturnal animals that frolic in the Melbourne suburbs come twilight, went something like this:


Him: “There’s a possum in my garden and I am watching it as I talk to you.”


Me: “Ugh. You should shoo it away. They are revolting. I am an animal lover, for the most part, but I find it hard to love feral rats and possums, and possums just look like gigantic rats to me, anyway. Besides, can’t they carry rabies?”


Him: “We don’t have rabies in Australia. Anyway, I think they’re beautiful creatures. Your Opossums must be different from our Possums, I think.”


Me: “Oh. Well, that’s not fair. How come you haven’t got rabies? And, seriously, Australian possums are beautiful?”

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