How a Possum Reminded Me that It’s OK to Ask for Help

And how the dog and 3 chickens drove the lesson home

The Ink Rat
4 min readJan 28, 2024
Image taken by The Ink Rat — Yes, I did just photoshop the possum in but the chickens are totally for real.

Our chickens arrived in the form of warm eggs carried home in the small hands of our young children after a brief farm-stay holiday.

Four years later, the chickens are still laying eggs — though a couple of them have begun ‘laying about’ instead and really need to up their game.

Half-asleep in the pre-dawn light one morning, I fumbled with the latch of their coop, then opened their grain feeder, the inner coop door, and the henhouse door — like I do every morning.

I had just stepped out of the coop when our dog, Ghost, tore round the corner of the house towards me.

Unusual. He usually waits up at the front gate to start our morning walk

Now, he scrambled around the coop sniffing frantically.

And that is when I looked up.

Sitting on top of the henhouse, inside the coop, a large brush-tailed possum tried to freeze into invisibility. Ghost leapt up, pushing his front paws against the chicken wire. The possum jumped down to where the hens mindlessly pecked at their kitchen scraps.

For a moment, the chicken coop…



The Ink Rat

I'm a creative copywriter and editor passionately supporting professional service businesses to productively create, engage, and persuade.