30 Aug 2011

Echidna Pie, anyone?

Isn't this little fella just the cutest thing? We had to hustle him off the road yesterday in order to prevent him being roadkill pie.

Well actually, preparing an echidna for pie does not really sound like my idea of a good time. Nor, to be honest, does eating one. Imagine getting one of those spikes lodged in your gullet on the way down - it sorta puts a fish bone to shame, doesn't it?

Anyhow, regardless of our culinary interest in him, we did not want him squashed on the road, and so we shuffled him into a far safer home. He is so cute after all. Did I say that already?

The best nature study is always unplanned, I find. It is one thing to read about the twisted funny looking hind limbs and the long grooming claw of this lovely animal, and quite another to see them in action! Similarly, up close we could see the soft brown hair in between those scary spines, making the echidna's classification as a mammal a little more believable. We looked at his bright button eyes and his long snout with the nostrils at the tip, and discussed its ideal configuration for searching out the ants and termites that comprise its diet. We even plucked up enough courage to test out those spines!!

Apparently the echidna actually tastes quite good if you can be bothered preparing it. George Tobin, who travelled with Captain William Bligh on The Bounty back in 1792 reports that 'the animal was roasted and found of a delicate flavour'! Here's the rest of Captain Bligh's entry about the little creature:
An animal shot at Adventure Bay. It had a beak like a duck - a thick brown coat of hair, through which the points of numerous Quills of an inch long projected these very sharp - It was 14 inches long & walked about on 2 legs. Has very small Eyes & five claws on each foot - Its mouth has a small opening at the end of the Bill & had a very small tongue -W.B.
Personally I'd rather just look at him, but there's no accounting for taste, I guess.

(Yes I know he's a protected species. I'm just being a little bit silly!)


  1. What a wonderful experience! I have only ever seen one in the wild, so it's pretty special! Well done on saving it's life! xxx

  2. I wonder if that particular pie would go nicely with a Skip and Go Naked? Perhaps Mr. Tobin could advise...

  3. I was offered a book for review about an echidna yesterday. The original pics are fabric art. Like? http://mrsechidna.com/

  4. We too have been most fortunate to see one in real life as well. We were just driving along out in the bush when we spied it on the road. Hubby was super quick to pull over and we all jumped out to have a peek. :o)

    Unplanned nature study does turn up trumps. :o)

  5. Susan,

    I am surprised how few echidnas have made it to kids stories actually. They are such cuties after all. I will be interested to hear what you think of the book.

  6. We see echidnas relatively often up here. Not so often that they're boring, mind you.

    I would love to see a platypus in the wild myself. Now that would be exciting!!

  7. And I thought our local hedgehogs are cute. That nose is just incredible. :-)

    Off to read about echidnas.....


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...