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A grey evening. A walk with a friend down to the lake through the spotted gum forest and up to the headland. A stroll along the low-tide beach to the sand-stairs back to my village. And then her sharp eyes, breaking through our chatter: “Look!”

We stood on the sandy track, looking, for ten minutes, as the echidna snuffled in the sand, among the dune wattles, unconcerned by our presence. Snout appearing. Back retreating. And then across the track, leathery feet emerging from the gold-tipped spines. Leaving faint claw marks. Continuing to snuffle. Then disappearing.

And us, home to dinner.