Welcome to the kindly Eastern Barred Bandicoot

I'm so very pleased we have met.
Asleep by day and out at night -
forever curious and snuffling.
Sensitive and narrow snout
tapered ears and curvy toes,
barred coat that's never out of fashion;
our mate is small and neat.

The bandicoot causes little harm -
you may not even know one's there -
for the most they will ever do
is politely turn the soil,
fertilise a garden bed while
foraging for a tasty treat
perhaps a grub or two.
Yet despite their simple needs we've stamped upon their habitat,
we're sadly good at that. So I hope
this marsupial can find a brand new dwelling
in which they can relax.

The bandicoot does not bark or growl
(just a gentle grunt)
nor possess a poisonous bite
that will make a limb drop off.
This creature will not nibble your prize tomatoes
nor poo upon your porch.
This chap won't run up your leg, scare you half to death
won't wake you in the night by thumping on the roof
nor devour you in your slumber then feed you to its young.

The bandicoot does not ask for much,
requests are far and few.
A small amount of space
- but no dogs nor foxes or cats -
some soft earth,
a thatch of native grass with
millipedes to munch.
A humble life of peace and solitude
to please its quiet soul.

So if you're lucky to come across this furry one
please leave him all alone.
Just take comfort in the thought
the bandicoot has chosen our backyard
to call its home sweet home.

Poem by Brian Beardwood
Phillip Island Nature Parks