There is an invading force that is, right now as we write this, entrenched in the sovereign territory of New Zealand.
Estimates vary widely but everyone seems to think there are AT LEAST seven invaders for every man, woman and child of this nation. Yes, that would be a force 30 million strong and growing by the day.
Not happy to simply live here in a land known for its beauty and kind hearted peoples, these soulless devils are pillaging the land and actually killing the natives in their own homes. Likely, at this very moment a mother is watching powerlessly as her innocent offspring is ruthlessly murdered by this merciless horde.
We are speaking, of course, of possums. Evil, dirty, disease-ridden, kiwi-killing possums.
In their defense, which there actually is none, not for murdering innocent babies of an endangered species, it’s not actually the possums’ fault they’re here. Both New Zealand and Australia have a dicey history with “improving mother nature” that has resulted in their current over-zealousness in enforcing quarantines. The Australian brushtail possum was introduced to New Zealand around 1837 with the intent of establishing a fur industry. Without natural predators and with heaps of food (like trees and land based birds both of whom had no natural defenses) possums spread quite literally like a horde of locusts: breeding out of control and wiping out both native trees and birds.
So hey, it’s not their fault, right? Maybe we should cut them a break?
Yeah, let’s get back to the part where they are eating innocent baby kiwis.
Why do New Zealanders, a people renowned for their friendly natures and gentle ways, hate possums with such a passion? When it comes down to it, any enemy of the kiwi (the bird) is the enemy of the Kiwi (the people). Solidarity – we can dig that.
(Also, the possums are killing the vegetation, destroying the forests, and giving the cattle TB. So, you know, there are a lot of reasons.)
And for Greg, this is a quintessential rural New Zealand experience we’re talking about here. Hey, we came out here to live the life, eat the food and join in the local customs right? Protecting the freaking national symbol of the country and the namesake for its peoples seems like a pretty clean cut case to him.
So now there’s probably someone out there who’s gonna get all up in arms because “Oh Greg you didn’t kill the cute cuddly little possum did you?”
You know what, stare into the eyes of the below picture and say the words
“I let your killer go free”
Let’s make this personal: Some group of ruffians roll into your house, kill your kids, DEVOUR them, kick you out of your home and lay down for a post-baby-dinner nap in your freaking bed. We happen to be walking by with a rifle. What would you ask us to do?
Yeah, that’s pretty much what we figured.
Don’t screw with kiwis dude. Not cool.
And yes, Greg reports, he slept just fine that night. In fact, he says he slept deeply and well.
Just like the baby Kiwi who’s life he saved every night thereafter.
It’s a good thing Greg had that trip to Texas to work out the kinks on his gun slinging.
(PS – Just in case you’re actually worried about it: Like we said in the video, it was a clean, quick kill. The possum didn’t unnecessarily suffer.)
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!