ENGLEWOOD, Pa. - 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.'"
O'Connor called police, and William E. O'Donnell, a state Game Commission deputy wildlife conservation officer, removed an 18-inch-long opossum from the 8-foot Douglas fir the family had bought, bundled, from a dealer in Seltzer.
O'Donnell caged the animal and released it in woods about five miles away. The tree, meanwhile, was still in the front yard where Patricia had hurled it. "The lights are still on it," Michael O'Connor said. "So is the stand." --The Associated Press
Three Other Things You Wouldn't Want to Find Hidden in Your Christmas Tree
--Alistair Cooke's bones
--Scott McClellan's long-lost soul