Mysterious Americana Catalog: ‘Possum King’

M-A-C (5): ‘Possum King’

Category: varmint

Collection Date: (REDACTED), 1993

Collection location: (REDACTED), Virginia

Collection Report: A teenage prank instigated the incident, in which the MAC was stolen from a large barn deep in the woods out past (REDACTED).

The item is a desiccated ‘opossum king’ like the myths of the ‘rat king’, where many animals in a tight space wind up starving to death with knotted tails glued together by excrement. In this case nine opossums are joined, but arranged somewhat artfully as a stiff wreath.

The teenager took it home and stored the item in his crawlspace to avoid parental detection and forgot about it until several evenings later, when the residents began to hear ‘scrabbling’, ‘clawing’, and ‘squealing’ inside their walls.

Daytime investigation through the crawlspace revealed several dismembered squirrels and much blood splatter.

Collectors speculate that the item was used as pest control by its previous owner, though the teenager in question could not lead investigators back to the barn.

Foolishly, the family decided to keep the item in place only to find its activity growing more intense with each passing day. It became intolerably loud one night, and the father went into the crawlspace to remove the item.

The activity did not cease even with the inert ‘possum king’ itself in view. Attempted removal resulted in it becoming stuck under a heavy bin of Christmas decorations.

As he later reported, ‘the squealing kept getting closer’, and was ‘just around the corner’ when he lost consciousness. When pulled out by his family his left ear had been torn off and there were claw streaks all up and down the same side.

An exterminator was called, and he reported it to the Catalog when concerned about instructions to only work during daylight. Our specialist (REDACTED) was sent in to extract the MAC, and was successful.

Current Collector: ‘Saint Elmer’, senior rank

Notes From Collector: Thing’s damn useful if you ask me. Haven’t had chipmunks anywhere on the property in years. Don’t look it in any of the eyes, ‘cept possum #3; that one’s friendly.”

Current Status: active

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