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About Sprites - A Children's Poem

Updated on December 12, 2016
Tinsky profile image

Tina's passion for creative writing and fictional worlds began in her teens. 30 years later she is completing a Master of Arts (Writing).

About this children's poem...

I love possums. There I have said it. Possums are cute and friendly, and I am thankful that in Australia they are also a protected native animal. I have had a close relationship with possums since an early age when I first mistook the grunting of a male possum which was lurking outside my bedroom window for a Gremlin. Movies can be very impressionable on young children.

If I see a possum, and there is fruit at hand, I will try to feed it. I have fed families of possums by hand and sat with them in the garden as they have run around me. I've even had a possum follow me into the house.

There are all sorts of possums in Australia where I live, from the more common ring tail and brush tail varieties to the dainty sugar-gliders which I have also seen gliding between trees just outside my house.


A playful sprite

In a garden at night

Is delightful to watch from the house.

When a young baby possum

Lands flat on its bottom

While chasing his mother about.

Tousling and snacking

Or simply piggy backing

The possum's a bundle of fun.

It's cheeky and bright

But doesn't like light

And from any noise it will run.

With his pointy ears twitching

And his sloping snout sniffing

He smells the fruit in the trees.

With a dash and dart

Up the tree he will start

To feast on the fruit in the breeze.

Or, when playing with mum

Should another possum come

Creeping stealthily through the grass

With a crouch and a pounce

His mother will trounce

And chase it off to the pass.

A dozen more sprites

In my garden at night

Is a delightful event to see.

Not one or two

But quite a few

I'm sure you will agree.

Backyard Possums

One of the many possums I've enjoyed watching in my backyard.
One of the many possums I've enjoyed watching in my backyard. | Source

Victoria's Leadbeater Possum

Australia’s wide variety of possums include the endangered, small Leadbeater Possum. The Leadbeater Possum belongs to the glider family which lives in colonies of two to twelve in a nocturnal, female matriarchal society. Nearly all Leadbeater possums can be found in mountain-ash and alpine-ash forests in the Victoria Central Highlands. Originally discovered in 1867 the Leadbeater Possum was first known as the Bass River Possum, and is sometimes referred to as the fairy possum.

Listed as extinct in 1909, the Leadbeater Possum’s rediscovery in 1961 led to it becoming Victoria’s mammal emblem alongside the Helmeted Honeyeater in 1971. Captive breeding programmes for the possum have not been successful. The last captive Leadbeater Possum died at Toronto Zoo in 2010. In 2012 a new breeding programme commenced. While captivity increases the lifespan of the possum, the programme has so far been unsuccessful in producing offspring.

Bush fires and humans continue to threaten the Leadbeatter’s habitat which relies on natural hollows in trees 100 to 200 years old for nesting and foraging. In 1939 a bush fire provided the Leadbeater Possum with ample hollowed trees for nesting. However, overtime these trees have declined and logging has reduced the number of younger trees that would normally replace them.

The possum or the timber industry

In 2009, fire from Victoria’s Black Saturday tore through a popular habitat supporting over an estimated forty-five percent of the Leadbeater Possum population. The forestry industry and governments bodies dispute the number of Leadbeatter Possums that exist in the wild, with conservationists estimating the number may be fewer than a thousand. Ending logging of Mountain Ash Forests used for nesting and foraging, seems to be the best solution for their continued existence.

© 2010 Tina Dubinsky


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  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 3 years ago

    They are so cute. One young possum used to come to our back porch to snack on cat food. On July 4th (Independence Day in the USA) people shoot fireworks, especially at night. When the fireworks started, our nightwatcher light on our back deck came on. This small possum brought his mate, and they crouched down on the porch for the time period, about 30 minutes, the children were shooting their fireworks. As soon as the fireworks stopped, he looked at her as if to say, "it's safe to leave now," and they left. It was so cute, and it was gratifying to us to know that the possums considered out back deck a sanctuary.

  • bonny2010 profile image

    bonetta hartig 6 years ago from outback queensland

    beautiful full of bounce and personality.

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

    By the way, the walls here in my house are full of "sprites" of the furry squirrel type. I wrote a hub about them during their last occupancy season, in fact. hehe

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

    That's so cute! A fun read.

  • mrfluffy profile image

    mrfluffy 6 years ago from Northamptonshire

    Superbly written and enjoyable keep it up.

  • DStettler profile image

    DStettler 7 years ago

    That was quite a wonderful read.

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 7 years ago

    ......this little buddy reminds me of why my love life is suffering - he's so ugly he's cute - no wonder all of my blind dates go blind - lol lol lol - but one other thing that is better than cute here - and that is your delightful writing style and words which stand to your attention ......with rapture!!!