Word spread through the possum colony that Old Grey Beard wanted everybody to meet in the assembly hall. When we were all seated, Old Grey Beard said in his old gruff tone, “The time has come for us to have revenge on the humans. For far too long we have been pushed out of our territory, caught in traps and treated like foul pests. Those of you who have been listening in to the children’s classes for three years now, are ready to teach the rest of the colony what you have learnt. Our takeover of the school or invasion’ as I like to call it will take place 2 weeks from today!”

The following weeks were very busy because we were trying to learn as much as we could. In English lessons we learnt how to write and spell correctly, but we still needed a lot more practise at spelling! Sport classes were held in which we learnt how to throw a ball and aim properly. Next was Maths where we worked out how many possums were required to scare each human.

After Maths we had the hardest subject of all, Art. It was so hard to hold a camera and click the right button at the same time! Luckily the teacher Miss Brushtail had paid very good attention to the children’s art teacher. In the library we researched war books about taking over other countries, which was very interesting but also very confusing when trying to find what section the right book would be in. The last subject was Music.

Old Grey Beard had insisted upon having this subject taught. “We must have a good victory song when we win the battle,” he would mutter to himself.
At the end of the fortnight we were all very pleased at what we’d learnt. Even Old Grey Beard seemed pleased with us.

It was the day of the great possum takeover! The night before the takeover Miss Brushtail had worked through the night, replacing photographs of human staff and students with portraits of us possums. A large photograph of Old Grey Beard had pride of place in the frame labelled ‘PRINCIPAL’. Miss Lightfoot and Miss Scarfoot, the best spellers in the colony, had written notes on all the teacher’s desks saying “Staff Meeting 8:30am.”

Everyone was in place ready for action. We heard the principal’s car pulling up in the parking area. When the principal was about to enter the big building we had heard the children calling ‘Myrniong’ we jumped out of our hiding places, some of us were hiding in bushes, others behind trees. We had even hidden in the bins!

The Principal dropped his bags in astonishment, and that is when it all began. We hissed at him and then Rufus Screech our sport teacher ordered us to chase him, and we did! We chased and chased, we chased the Principal so far that even we were puffing and panting.

“Somebody save me!” he cried as he leapt up a tree, climbing as fast as he could, just like a possum. He looked terrified. He was sweating and his hair was standing on end! Rufus Screech and ten of us stayed at the bottom of the tree throwing balls at the Principal, and the rest? Well, we went to cause more mischief!

As usual Miss Whatson as running late for the staff meeting. As she hurried through the Myrniong hallway she happened to notice that the staff photos had been replaced with pictures of possums. She chuckled to herself, “that Principal is such a trickster.”

“Oh I’m so sorry for being late again I was just….” Miss Whatson looked into the teachers’ eyes, everyone was pale white and speechless. Miss Whatson knew immediately that something was wrong. One of the teachers pointed behind her so she turned to look.

Oh My Goodness! Right there in front of her were forty or more possums. They slammed the door shut. The staff were trapped, it was just like a possum trap. They could get in but they couldn’t get out. Miss Whatson screamed and then she fainted. The other teachers were too scared to move so Miss Whatson just lay there motionless.

Eventually the year 4 teacher, a brave young man, grabbed his phone and dialled the school secretary’s  number, ignoring all the hisses we were making. “We need help, come to the staff room!” the year 4 teacher yelled into the phone.

There was a moment’s silence and then “HISSSSSSSSSSSSS!”  Miss Hissy, a cranky old brushtail, was at the secretary’s desk hissing at anyone she saw.
Once the staff were all trapped and the Principal was still up his tree shaking with terror,  all that was left to deal with were the children, who were due to arrive any minute.

We raced to our agreed positions and waited for our victims to arrive. Luckily the school driveway was lined with big old oak trees, that were full of hard shiny acorns. In other words, perfect ammunition for our slingshots, that we had learnt about in our studies.

Before long the children were arriving. The first few cars slowly rolled over the speed bumps. “1,2,3 FIRE!” Old Grey Beard screeched at us. Bang, boom, crack the acorns hit the cars with great force. Some of the windows even smashed and that is when we heard the terrified and shocked screams of the families.

Although most of the families just drove straight out the opposite school gates, a few of them stopped and began to get out. We fixed this easily by forming a gigantic pyramid in front of the families and some of us even jumped onto the windscreens of the cars and stared through the glass looking menacing, (despite all the bashes we were receiving from the windscreen wipers).

None of the humans tried to fight back at this, and we nearly toppled over with laughter as parents fell onto their cars in astonishment and yelled for their children to “Get in quick, we have to get out of here!”

It was such a celebrated moment when the last car drove past with a cracked windscreen and a petrified family inside!

“Possums,  please may I have you attention? I am here to inform you, that we have won the battle!” announced Old Grey Beard. “We have overpowered the humans and taken control of the school. The school is now ours! We will use it for out training base for when we take over the town…”