B: Bandicoot

 

our forest is home to many creatures . let me introduce you to a cute little nocturnal fella from  the marsupial family  called bandicoot.

not to be confused with a ratus bush or otherwise this fella has a long pointy snout and a hunched back with short tail. about 12 to 18 inches long and a soft greyish brown in colour.

sightings are rare but every so often I get lucky and my torch will pick out a gleam of an eye and for a split second before it tears off I will see it.

mostly I am aware of their presence by the sound they make -a sharp high pitched whistling squeak though apparently there are whuffs and whiffles too. the more common evidence here is waking to the diggings in the bush and the lawn sometimes very close to the house. with their front feet they dig small conical holes about 5 inches deep.

as omnivores they have a wide ranging diet; ants termites grasshoppers earthworms native fruits and berries tubers moths earwigs beetles larvae cockroaches and spiders .

and such is the supreme efficiency of the biology of this planet their pouches are backward facing so that when mum is digging she is not shoveling the soil into the pouch.

their gift to us is immeasurable, perfect backyard neighbours who make a nest in grasses and shrubs sometimes weaving grass together and can breed any time of the year. those little holes they dig are perfect places for a seed to be placed and for water to collect and for something to grow. whats more they eat the deadly poisonous funnel web spider. they are a gardeners friend.

if your child has the bandicoot as a totem then they will likely be telltales, dobbers that will dig around for secrets within the family and can blurt them out at inappropriate times. while annoying to have hidden stuff exposed and perhaps at times destructive the positive is that secrets are forced into the light for healing.they can see into the darkness after all and often find solutions in moments of upheaval.