I'm so excited to announce the newest member of the Bestiary Collection: the mighty opossum. And to inaugurate this occasion, I even made a possum-themed playlist!
First, a note on nomenclature. As many folks know, scientifically, "possums" are marsupials that live in Australia and "opossums" are marsupials that live in the Americas. (Side note: if you're interested in the etymology, Merriam-Webster actually has a fascinating article about the origins of both words.) For my purposes, I'm using both possum and opossum interchangeably to refer to the American opossum (or in Latin didelphis virginiana), which, according to the Merriam-Webster folks is acceptable in non-technical arenas.
During the design process and looking up reference photos, I actually learned quite a bit about the endearing little creatures. A few fun facts I learned: 1) they are the only marsupials naturally living in the Americas; their marsupial relatives are mostly in Australia; 2) opossums are very clean animals and are immune to many diseases that affect small mammals; and, 3) contrary to popular belief, only the young can hang from their tails. Adult possums weigh too much to hang upside down, though their tails ARE prehensile and can be used for grasping and holding. 4) Opossums used to be commonly eaten - and not long ago either. In 1909, a feast was held for then President-elect Taft. At his request, the menu was possums and taters.
Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I made a possum playlist. I actually thought making one would be impossible (impossumable?), because I figured there'd only be a song or two, but much to my surprise, there are many, many possum songs to choose from. Perhaps because of their strangeness, possums seem to have been a popular choice for country and bluegrass music, but I even found more recent songs by the likes of Lou Reed and Rasputina. I've been testing out this playlist for the last couple days, and I have to say that I really enjoy it. I chose songs that not only referred to possums, but also that I liked, because no one wants to listen to a playlist that sucks. George Jones, Dolly Parton and the Toadies round out the playlist below- give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments. And if you decide to get some possum jewelry, tag me on Instagram! I love to see my jewelry out in the wild.