Yesterday my wife emailed me and told me she wanted a quokka. I had to google it, and learned that a quokka is a smal fuzzy marsupial in Australia.
No matter how many nature specials I watch, they keep coming up with critters I never heard of… and especially, Australia keeps coming up with new marsupials. And that got me thinking about how the Americas basically came up with one marsupial, the opossum, and were done with the experiment. I know, I know. There are subtle variations on the opossum, but lets face it — opossums are the Dave Matthews Band of the animal kingdom. All their songs sound the same.
Meanwhile, Australia was discovering an endless number of variations on the theme, each of them distinct and remarkable, like Mark Knopfler with the 12-bar blues shuffle.
A giant rabbit hamster!
Teddy bears with Freddy Krueger hands!
Kangaroos of every shape and size! OK, basically one shape (kangaroo shape), but a lot of different sizes, from widdle biddle, like my wife’s quokka…
…to a big ole Kangaroo
There are little squirrel skunks with wings on their hands…
And needlenosed fox armadillos
And crazy fast dog rats…
And, uh, little burrowing piglike things.
This one used to run the place. Fortunately for hobbits and whoever else lives down there, they are extinct.
All I am saying, readers, is to be like Australia with the marsupials in your life.
(All pictures from Wikimedia Commons, except the baby possum, which has been floating around on the Internet for a while. Learn the names of each animal by leaving your cursor on it for a moment.)