How the possum stole Christmas

In Englewood, Pa., the O’Connor family picked up a beautiful 8 foot (2.4m) Douglas fir for the family’s Christmas tree. The tree had already been cut and bundled and was just waiting for a loving family to take it home.

So they did. And they decorated their tree, stringing it with sparkling lights and ornaments and even a star at the top.

And very early Tuesday morning, it happened.

Mary Kathleen O’Connor, 16, doing some studying for school about 6 a.m. Tuesday, said she was the first to be startled by an apparent Christmas tree stowaway.

“I’m looking at the tree and the angel just pops off,’ she said. “And a second later, this head just popped up. The eyes were, like, glowing. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God!’ And I screamed.’

Other family members came running. “We looked at it and I thought it might have been a fake,’ said her father, Michael O’Connor, a Frackville attorney. “But then it moved its head. And I thought ‘Holy Jeez. We’re in trouble.” — Associated Press

Now if that were the end of the story, you wouldn’t be reading about it here. As it turns out, not only do the O’Connor family not know that the possum, which is native to their area, is quite harmless, they apparently had trouble recognizing one when it was staring them in the face.

So Dad was so confused, he didn’t know what to do! He called the police.

But while he was doing that, mom Patricia picked up the entire tree — stand and lights and all — and threw it outside into the front yard!

A game commissioner came up and took the possum a few miles away and released it.

And that is how a possum stole Christmas from the O’Connor family and helped Michael and Patricia O’Connor take their rightful place as Stupid People of the Day.

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