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Related to play possum: Tonic paralysis
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Who knew Avril Lavigne could play possum? That's precisely her voiceover part in this animated tale about a flurry of furry friends whose woods are taken over by suburbanites.
Some harmless ones imitate dangerous look- alikes to keep predators at bay; a few "play possum" to deceive their enemies.
When it refused to budge, I gave it a little poke with the handle, hoping it would climb down and shuffle off without fanfare, or maybe "play possum," as possums do when they don't like the odds.