Posts Tagged ‘wild animals’

Introducing Puggle

April 12, 2010

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce Catriona Hoy. Catriona is an Australian kid’s author. Her new book is a sheer delight. It is the story of one of Australia’s unusual wild animals, the babies of which have the most delightful name imaginable.

Catriona, welcome to Scribbly Gum.

Hi Kim,

Thanks for asking me over to chat about my new children’s picture book, PUGGLE.

This is my first experience with Blog Touring and I’ve got a few interesting new places to visit. Firstly, a few details, since this is my first stop.

Puggle is the story of an orphaned baby echidna, who return to the wild with the help of some volunteer animal wildlife carers. It is published by Working Title Press and details can be found on their website.

Andrew Plant has done some fantastic illustrations which bring Puggle’s story and our wonderful Australian bush to life. I’m thrilled that he was able to do the illustrations and we have just signed another contract with Working Title Press, this time to do a book on dinosaurs.

I loved your stories about animals in the wrong place at the wrong time – or is it maybe that just we humans are in the wrong spot!

For me, Puggle’s story began with a visit to the home of some wildlife carers. It was fascinating, as there were animals everywhere – in the garden, in the computer room, on the verandah and even in the bedrooms. Most of these animals had had an unfortunate close encounter with a human that ended badly.

What fascinated me was the fact that when an adult female marsupial is hit by a car, often the babies can survive. People are advised to check the pouches of animals as the babies usually can’t survive on their own. This was what had happened not only to Puggle, but a baby wallaby that he was sharing a room with. Happily for Puggle, he arrived at a place where he could be cared for, with special Puggle formula and lots of love and attention.

When I decided to start writing Puggle’s story I did a lot of research on echidnas and found out some fascinating facts. Echidnas are quite solitary and rarely meet up but when a female echidna is ready to mate, she puts out a scent. Any male echidnas in the vicinity are attracted to it and begin to follow her around, nose to tail in a long line like a conga dance. It’s called an echidna train and can go on for days. Eventually some of the males lose interest until there is one left. – It must be quite a sight to see!

I always loved finding out things when I was reading as a child, so I included some of these facts in the end papers of the books.

Puggle isn’t my first book, so if people would like to find out about some of my other books they can visit my website –

There are some cute pictures of the real Puggle there. Alternatively, they can join me at the next stop on my tour tomorrow with Dee White, author of Letters to Leonardo at

Thanks for having me!

And thanks, Catriona, for introducing us to Puggle.

You can follow the tour here –

Catriona’s Tour Dates.

April 13-

April 14 –

April 15 –

April 16 –

April 17 –

April 18 –

April 19 –

April 20 –

April 21 –

April 22 –

The Wombat in Gum Boots

April 10, 2010

Wild Animal Story – No.2

Just up the street from us lived another WIRES animal host. She took on an orphaned baby wombat. For quite a while she walked with the wombat in a cloth sling around her shoulder. The wombat responded to the almost-marsupial care and adopted his new Mum. Neighbours would say the normal baby things when they were out walking, such as, ‘Wow, hasn’t he grown?’ and ‘Is he sleeping through the night or are you still up feeding him?’

The day came when it was time for the little fellow to walk himself down the street. Our friend would walk in front, not too quickly, and behind her came the little wombat. And this is the enduring memory.

Wombats have short stocky legs, and their feet are surprising big. I suppose I’m used to dog’s feet or cat’s feet, which don’t poke forward so much. Not so, for the wombat.

The baby wombat looked like he was wearing little gum boots on all four feet. There was no sign of elbows or knees bending as he walked. It was wombat on the top layer and gum boots underneath. Each step gained him about 100 mm, so he had to take lots of steps to keep up.

If you have never seen a baby wombat walking quickly behind it’s human mum, then you are in for a treat. It is impossible to describe how funny he looked as those little gum boots took him through the suburban jungle.

It is worth selling your house and moving in just down the street from a WIRES host just for that one experience.

Wild Animals and Other Stories

April 9, 2010

It’s time for some wild animal stories. Here’s the first of three over three days, then I will introduce an Australian author who has just published a kid’s book about a very un-wild wild animal.


Wild animals turn up in the funniest places. A friend of mine, named Stuart, is an animal rescue volunteer with WIRES. He’s got lots of stories of animals in the wrong places.

Sometimes they are dangerous, such as when a snake took up lodging in the clothing of a messy bachelor’s bedroom ‘floordrobe’. Stuart didn’t mind picking up the snake when they found it. But picking up the man’s cast off jocks was a different matter.

And sometimes the stories are so funny that they are an enduring memory.

Stuart recently told me of hearing his ducks get into a commotion. Running out to see what was wrong he found a large goanna attacking the nest of a sitting mother duck. She was furious but no match for the goanna. The goanna got the eggs and the duck got a broken foot.

And the goanna got a surprise. Stuart got very noisy and herded the goanna into a fenced in corner. It tried to get its head through the wire and got stuck. The neighbour was there by now and he got a broom and held the head firmly to the ground.

Stuart got the wheelie bin and a rope. He somehow managed to get the two metre goanna into the bin, roped it shut and stood it upright. Then he wheeled it onto the ute and took it a kilometer down the road and released the no-longer-hungry goanna safely on the other side of the swamp.

The duck abandoned the nest, and it seemed the story was over. Wrong.

Ruby the dog discovered that both goanna and duck had left one egg, which had ‘matured’ wonderfully. Wonderfully, that is, for a dog. Some she ate. Some she rolled in. And some she brought into the house to share with Stuart.

Anyone know how to rescue a dog from certain destruction?