Wye River undergrowth was razed, and native humus below. We were told the echidnas under the house survived. On arrival it was true: first sight an echidna foraging around the clothes hoist. Excited voices prompted a shambling amble exit. When I say ‘under’ I mean the burrows under our garden. From a standing start an echidna will spiral directly down, disappearing in less than two minutes. I have watched this at Wye, quills and all, a ball vanishing into the ground. They are shy and mild, for creatures of such threatening and inexplicable appearance, and we need mildness this April.