Many years ago, I met Rose in the West Coast bush when she was just a youngster. As the years went by, I got to interact with her on numerous occasions as she grew into her skin.
My fondest memory of Rose came from spending a night with her in a hut. I made the mistake of making eye contact with her as I woke in the morning. What followed was a unique alarm clock – a tail repeatedly banging against the hut wall! Then add in the burnout ring she’d create around the hut from expending some built-up energy.
Rose, without question, is an absolute character, so when her owner (J Nobody) decided to publish a book about her exploits, I was super keen to get my hands on a copy.
Screeching Possums and Sleepy Sticks is a golden read that’s full of Kiwi ingenuity and creativity. The whole book is written from Rose’s perspective and how she interprets the world. Rose’s book starts from her early days trying to avoid the “leg burglars” (the vets) and continues through her introduction to bush-life – while learning the beauty of “sky raisins” (flies) and “ninja sky raisins” (sandflies) – to helping her owner trap possums, hunt deer and shoot ducks.
The author has done a fantastic job articulating Rose’s character in the book. Many sections had me laughing out loud, because I could imagine Rose saying exactly those words.
Featuring crack-up possum-trapping mishaps, not-so-helpful deer-stalking techniques, refusal to retrieve ducks in tight spiky bush, and tasty joeys, this book is full of laughter, joy and a slightly different perspective on bush life.
I give this book a 5 out of 5. Yes, I’m biased because I know Rose, but even my wife laughed out loud many times while reading this book!
A copy of Screeching Possums and Sleepy Sticks costs $30. You can email Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a copy.