An interview with the most searched for echidna in the southern hemisphere
Let it never be said I haven’t shown solidarity with my egg-laying mammalian brethren. In an exclusive interview with Nothing in the Rulebook, Piggie the Echidna talks imprisonment, conquering fear and what the future holds for the much-loved pet and ambassador. Billy the Echidna (BK)
BK: Thank you for speaking with me today
PE: The pleasure is mine. I’ve never been good at sitting around doing nothing
BK: If I could bring you back to that fateful day…
PE: Of course. I’ve kind of dined out on the fact I was the first echidna successfully bred in captivity at the sanctuary, and dining is how I spend a fair bit of my time. I’m an after dinner speaker you see and for the reasonable fee of 30 crickets I will delight your debating society or after dinner club with tales in utero.
BK:: But back to the matter at hand…
PE: Yes, so I was stociously drunk.
BK: Weren’t you dining at the time?
PE: Fermented fruit. Addicted to them some would say. And I can bring your scout troop or AGM to tears with the story of how I conquered my addiction for only 30 crickets.
BK: They came for you at night?
PE: Oh yes. Terrifying. I had passed out on a bed of plum stones from the effects and next thing a gloved hand is bristling my spines. I assumed it was my keeper come for a roll in the hay and a drunken fumble but something about this gloved hand felt different. I felt another on my side and it grasped me and I could feel my legs coming out from under me.
BK: Do you think there was a sexual motive to your kidnapping?
PE: What I can tell you is they touched me in ways I hadn’t been touched before by another living being. That’s to say they tossed me into a sack. I thought nothing of it and fell back into an intoxicated slumber.
BK: Weren’t you afraid?
PE: I’d grown weary of life in the sanctuary. The prestige that comes from being the first of one’s kind born behind plexiglass had dampened with age and I was contemplating life away from the sanctuary’s soothing heat lamps. And i would have got quite far in that contemplation if at the time I wasn’t rolling around in a sack on the floor of Ford Transit.The fear set in when I wondered if these kidnappers weren’t just stoned high-schoolers or animal rights activists but jihadi extremists, and I was to be ransomed to fund their cause. If the sanctuary wouldn’t pay, I feared my tiny head would be removed from my spiny shoulders on video for the world to see.
BK: Could you overhear anything your captors were saying as they transported you?
PE: Not quite, they were blaring Men at Work through the stereo; the only word I could pick out was “Rosebud” which is when I realised my assailants were Orson Welles fans. Serious foes indeed.
“They kept laughing at how weird I looked and humming a bizarre melody they called my theme song.”
BK: Where did your captors take you?.
PE: We parked up what I can only imagine was about 20 minutes from the sanctuary. They let me out of the dark sack and I waddled around the floor of the van looking for weaknesses in the van’s design or grubs to eat They kept laughing at how weird I looked and humming a bizarre melody they called my theme song. I had never been so humiliated. We did that for what felt like hours and then they put me back in the sack. The next hands to reach in and clasp me were my keeper’s so I can only assume that after tiring of my peculiar appearance they brought me back to the sanctuary. Baffling really.
BK: The entire experience must have been traumatising.
PE: If I hadn’t been so wasted I’d say so but the world is a stage and the men and women on it merely players.
BK: I’m not sure I see how that reference is appropriate.
PE: You will my boy, in due time.
BE: Now you’ve settled back into life in captivity, what does the future have in store for Piggie?
PE: I’m so glad you’ve asked even though I shouldn’t be saying something. I’ve been commissioned by BBC3 to present an untitled talent search programme for Britain’s best escape artist. The catch? They’re escaping death itself.
Piggie the Echidna lives at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, Australia. When not hosting obscure reality television, she is drunk.