Not a Marsupial Story




Andre van Paridon


This story started at a Marsupial Society Christmas break-up party.

During the course of the day, I was given a guided tour by the host - Bob Cleaver.    Whilst admiring his Cape Barren geese, I told him of my own misfortune with them when my original pair was taken by foxes some years previously.    As I had recently installed an electric fence, which made my animal yard fox proof, I told him I was keen to obtain another pair.    With that he offered me a “spare pair” that he had and almost before I knew what was happening there were two geese in the boot of my car!    


I asked how much he wanted for them but he said he didn’t want anything as they were in the way and possibly interfering with his other breeding pair, particularly as the male was aggressive.   What an understatement that turned out to be!


George, the goose, hated everything and everyone; kangaroos, emus, chooks and especially me.   The day he was released into the yard he attacked me ferociously, which took me completely by surprise.


Round 1 to George!


The following day when my wife, Carolyn, went down to feed the wallabies, he also attacked her.    She took off her shoes and threw them at him.    When this didn’t work, one by one all the feed and water dishes followed.    After everything had ended up at the bottom of the yard and George was still in hot pursuit, Carolyn realised she had lost and sprinted to the safety of the other side of the fence.


George had won round two!


Carolyn soon learnt not to go into the yard without the protection of a stick.    Some weeks later, after she had regained some of her lost confidence, she went to feed the birds one morning loaded up with water bucket, seed bucket and fruit.    Consequently, she had no spare hand for her ‘George stick’ and to be honest, had forgotten about it.   Into the first aviary she went - filled up the seed, cleaned out the water and gave the birds some apple.    Then the second aviary, not quite so simple!    As she was leaving the aviary George decided to come and ‘help’.    Every time she tried to open the door, George was there, ready to attack.    She tried to fend him off with the buckets, but George just drank the water and nibbled on the seed.    He had her well and truly cornered.    Eventually, when she finally managed to escape the only stick she could find within reach to defend herself was a six-foot permapine post which was totally inappropriate.


Yet another round to the goose!


I did feel sorry for Carolyn, but I would have done anything to have been there to have seen it.


These days, if there is any work to do in the animal yard, George must first be locked up.    This works quite well, but you must be prepared for a mad dash when you unlock him because he wants his revenge.


Until recently, he was very much a chauvinist - no need for the female of the species.     If his mate got too close he would chase her away.    He has obviously changed his ways of late and realised that although difficult to live with at times, a little feminine company helps wile away the hours.   In fact, his mate is now sitting on a couple of eggs and while he is tolerant of her, his hatred of others remains.   Perhaps the added responsibility of raising a family will help to settle him down or at the very least keep him busy enough to allow the others to move more freely once again in their own yard!


Carolyn has warned me that in the future she will always check the boot of our car before leaving any Marsupial Society Christmas party - if the boot is empty on arrival, it must he empty on leaving!

Click on thumbnail to enlarge

Bennett's Wallaby
Juvenile NT Brushtail Possum
Swamp Wallaby
Golden Brushtail Possum
Red Kangaroos
Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies
Baby Squirrel Glider
Sugar Glider

Copyright The Marsupial Society of Australia Inc. 2003 - 2006 All rights reserved. Privacy Statement


Email Webmaster