In days gone by, chocolate eggs would mysteriously appear on Easter Sunday for children (and adults still young at heart) to find when the sun rose. Easter egg hunts were a highlight of the day. In those days, we thought it was the Easter Bunny who brought those delicious chocolate gifts. Today in some parts of Australia, children are learning that it is the Easter Bilby who hops out of its desert home with a pouch full of chocolate eggs. Here in the Flowerdale valley and around Kinglake and Toolangi, I’ve heard it is a cousin of the Bilby, the Long- nosed Bandicoot who brings the eggs at night and leaves them for the children to find.
The Long- nosed Bandicoot is not often seen, waking up when the children go to bed, and foraging through the bush looking for a good feed of fungi. The bandicoot leaves signs of where it has been with cone shaped holes in soft earth where it has put it’s long nose in search of food. It has frequently been seen in the bush opposite the Kinross Egg Farm, perhaps it sneaks in there at night to get eggs which it magically turns into chocolate. So if you are out late at night and you are lucky enough to see an animal about the size of a rabbit, but with a long nose, have a look next morning for the marks it makes and if it is Easter, you might be even luckier and find a chocolate egg!
Click on http://easterbilby.weebly.com for a bilby story for the children. ( Thanks Chris Cobern for the use of the Long-nosed Bandicoot photos).