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One night sitting in front of the fire at WJ there was a blood curdling scream from the signal office. There's a flurry of arms and legs, as there was a charge by half a dozen blokes in that direction, exchanging nervous glances and WTF was going on looks, then we found out.....but let me back track a bit.
Little mate and me along with the guard left Launceston with 3 X's, a couple of vans of roadside and the guards van to head to WJ to get the rest of the train, only to arrive and find that 90 (at least I think it was) was surprise surprise late. The ASM told us to draw up near the western plat and shut the loco's down, which we duly did.
Grabbing our crib bags we retired to the station for a warm and cuppa. Asking how long we would be waiting the ASM said "it's going to be a toss up who's going to be ready to go first", (5 currently shunting at WJ and 90 doing the same at Conara).
Someone asked the question whether they were going to cross at Powranna and got the reply "nope, both too long" not that it bothered us either way. Turns out 5 was ready first and headed off to Conara so we made ourselves comfy for the next couple of hours. After half an hour do little mate starts to get a little bit restless and with that evil little grin on his face he heads out the door. I thought to myself "look out, somethings brewing" meanwhile making a mental note to check anything and everything before I touch it, sit on it or go anywhere near it.
A bit later he ambles back in with that grin of his wider than when he went out, he's definitely upto something.... After a while the ASM comes in and says off to do something or other and disappears out the door. 10 seconds later little mate is up and his legs are just a blur as he shoots out the door behind the ASM. A minute or so later he's back and the grin is even bigger "OH FEK, What's he been doing?" goes through my mind.
The ASM returns and goes back to what he was doing and a couple of minutes later the scream mentioned at the start of this ramble. Ok, now for the sequence of events. Some of you that have read this far and not fallen asleep will remember he disappeared for a while. He did have skullduggery on his mind but not being able to find anything to booby trap decided to go for a wander. Walking past the tree that used to be near the coal bunker he heard a rustling in the branches so went to investigate and came face to face with a young ringtail possum.
He hatched an evil little plan on the spot, scruffed the poor bloody thing and stuffed it inside his overalls (I've never been able to figure out how he wasn't ripped to shreds) and returned to where the rest of us were. Sat there chatting away with us with this poor bloody thing inside his overalls while he waited to put part 2 into operation.
As soon as the ASM stepped out, part 2 done. Part 3 involved the ASM sitting back down at the console and doing some paper but kept hearing a scratching and rustling coming from the desk. Possibly thinking he was hearing things ignored it for a while but it kept going and occasionally got louder. Meanwhile we're in the other room with little mate having that evil little grin on his face with a mixed look of anticipation.
He didn't have long to wait. Back to our ASM in the other room, finally got sick of this noise coming from the desk and started opening drawers (probably expecting a mouse or something) opened one of the draws, out shot this bloody possum landing on his chest, then came the scream, the mad rush to investigate and find a very pale and shaken ASM with a quite calm looking possum sitting on his chest both staring at each other eye ball to eye ball and 5 very shocked blokes looking on. Little mate calmly walked over, gave the possum a scratch behind the ear, picked it up and returned it to where he found it while the other 5 collapsed in hysterics. When we finally left the ASM was still shaking and from that time on when little mate was in the building, if he left the office he locked the door
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