Puggle to Echidna

Puggle to Echidna

Puggle to Echidna

Egg shelter ruptured
exposing nubble,

putty smooth, pink
vulnerable puggle.

Tiny claws and snout,
hurry up, we’re waiting,

for spines to emerge,
prickly armour-plating.

The spiny covered puggle
is now called an echidna,

a coat so very sharpish
their habits – an enigma.

Naive predators approach,
they haven’t got a clue,

piercing of a probing nose
will change their point of view.

A puggle is a hapless morsel,
tasty dingo meal;

huddling echidna in a ball –
that’s no real meal appeal!


Photo: Short beaked echidna spiny anteater tachyglossus aculeatus by Allan Whittome (public domain photo)

Note: A puggle is a baby monotreme (echidna or platypus)

31 thoughts on “Puggle to Echidna

    1. It doesn’t pass the perfect rhyme test but I don’t care – apparently one must use perfect rhymes for children (don’t know if I agree with that rule 😉 so I will ignore it. Thanks Geo 🙂 hahaha (been trying to think of a nickname for you since you said Staffo ‘sounds vaguely clinical’) – or maybe Freo (Jaffa also springs to mind) … I could continue 🙂

      1. Seeing I was mentioned, I feel invited to enter this discussion. Geoff should always be called Geoffrey, as in ‘wash your hands Geoffrey!’ However, an Aussie might just call a Geoff ‘Treble’, as in treble clef, but so would a Cockney.

          1. It was certainly Dunny at primary school and I sooo remember those nasal strine Solvol ads … remarkable how accurately children can mimic the cadence and inflection of a media campaign!

  1. Only a mother could love that puggle – this is a marvellous educational poem, Gabe. I didn’t know the babies were called puggles (what kind of Australian am I?! :)) I’ve only ever seen the adults – do the puggles’ spines appear slowly or overnight?

    1. Thanks bb – I didn’t know much about them either – haha – scientists don’t even know much about them (hence the enigma). They come out of a leathery egg and stay in a fake pouch that both males and females have (slurping up milk that oozes out of the echidnas skin rather than nipples), and after about 2 months the spines start to emerge and the parents leave them under shrubs and leaves, coming back to feed them until they are spiny enough and old enough to feed for themselves.

  2. Baby echidnas are cute and the adults are too if one ever gets to really see one.
    This poem is so good, it belongs in a children’s book of animals, difficult rhymes notwithstanding!.

    1. I think the babies and adults are both adorable – we had the adult echidna near our back yard and I couldn’t believe how cute it was (not what I thought echidnas would be like at all). Thanks Stafford about the poem – I’d like to do a children’s collection one day – aus wildlife is not a bad idea – I could put a bit more effort into the photos!

  3. I feel bad that I didn’t even know they were called puggles. How hopeless am I? How odd it must be to be born without spines and then to have them grow. Must be a weird sensation. I love your poem so much. It is very cute just like an echidna. Awwww.

    1. I think the puggle word is an official secret Selma (maybe not even a scientific word – but still used by wildlife carers and the like 🙂 ) thankyou ps. not sure if you can feel a spine growing (does sound slighly icky).

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