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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

The Possum

By Maybanke Anderson
(1845 - 1927)

From Australian Songs for Australian Children published in 1902.

Possums are small marsupials with grey or brown fur. They range in size from the length of your finger to the length of your forearm. Sugar gliders (shown on the right) are possums.

Australian possums got their name long ago because they resembled American opossums. Possums and opossums are actually distantly related.

Sung to the tune Nellie Bly.

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Australian Sugar Glider

Little 'poss, pretty 'poss, much I want to know,
When the weather's wet and cold, where do 'possums go?
Hey, 'possum' ho, 'possum, tell me, tell me true,
When the pleasant summer's gone, what do 'possums do?

I've a nest, little girl, in a hollow tree,
And I wear a winter coat, snug as snug can be.
Warm there, dry there, sleeping safe and sound,
I put my nose between my toes and curl my tail around.

Little 'poss, pretty 'poss, I should like to see
What you have for dinner when you're living in a tree.
Hey, 'possum; ho, possum, tell me what you eat,
Shall I give you bread and jam, or would you like some meat?

Little boy, little boy, if I say with you,
I must have green leaves to eat, and bread and biscuit too.
Green leaves, gum leaves, they're the food for me;
But I'd rather scamper off and eat them from the tree.

Little 'poss, pretty 'poss, though the trees are tall,
You can jump from limb to limb and never, never fall.
Hey 'possum; ho, 'possum, tell me, tell me true,
When the branches sway about, what do 'possums do?

Little boy, see my claws, they're sharp and strong;
I can stick them in the bark as I run along.
Fine claws, good claws, and if they should fail,
I can spring from bough to bough and hold on by my tail.

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