The Devil Hotline

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Did you know that in Tasmania we have a Devil Hotline?  It doesn’t ring down in Hades.  Diablo’s minions don’t answer.  It is none-the-less all about Devils.

On Monday morning I had reason to call this Devil Hotline.  It wasn’t to do with Halloween but it was about tricks that turned into treats.  It was about things that growl and thump in the dead of night.  Things that are as black as hell.  Things with big teeth that like to feast on rotting bones.  Yes, I needed to get some advice from this Devil Hotline and fast.

Would you like to know the number?  It’s freely available on the internet so that you too could call the Devil Hotline if ever you had a reason to do so.

I dialled the number.  I waited.  Hello, Devil Hotline, Holly speaking, said the voice beyond the wire.

Hello Holly, I said.  We have Devils under our house!

Yes, Dear Reader, we have Tasmanian Devils under our house.  I’m so excited!  I LOVE this small Tasmanian native.  He is rare and endangered.  He is oh so shy.  He is nocturnal.  He is a carnivorous marsupial.  He is only found here in Tasmania.  In my nearly 52 years I have seen one in the wild (one night out bushwalking in the very centre of Tasmania miles from nowhere in the Pelion Plains) and two in the last few years wandering along the road near the farm.  Sightings of live Devils are rare.

Our Devil population has been devastated by a rare facial tumour disease.  Much is being done to protect them and to find a cure.  This is why we have a Devil Hotline.  The public can phone and find out what they should do if they have any concerns about Devils that they come across.

For the last two weeks Pauly and I have heard all sorts of growling and grumbling and thuds under the house.  Not every night, but on and off.  We frequently have possums and wallabies and the odd Quoll, but Pauly hasn’t ever seen a Devil around the farm in the last 20 years.  Pauly was sure that the noises were coming from Devils.

We set the possum trap.  Monday morning there was a Devil in it!  Poor thing.  What to do?  We decided to let him go.  He was easy to catch (he followed a trail of minced meat into the trap), so we figured he could be caught again if that was necessary.

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According to Holly we most likely have a mum, a few babies and a juvenile living underneath our floor boards.  It’s not a good idea to move them until the babies are older in about a month.  She said that the babies like to come out and play!  (Can you see me jumping up and down with delight at the thought of this?)  She said that the best thing to do is to leave a little bit of food out, turn off the inside lights and turn the outside lights on.  We may be able to see the babies venture out!  They like to take things back to their nest so she suggested that we leave some pieces of cloth, scrunched up paper and other bits and pieces around for them to play with.

As soon as the Devil was released from the trap he (or she) vanished under the house, then the growling started up again.  But since then we’ve heard nothing.  Being caught in a trap could well have offended our shy squatters and they may have moved out.  Time will tell.

The below video is of the Devil’s release.

The below video is of our carpet!  Turn up the sound and you’ll hear the Devils growling!

I am hoping that they are still there, but if they decided to move, I hope they are safe.  I truly love our unique Australian wildlife and our Tasmanian Devil would have to be at the top of the list.  He is gorgeous.  What better treat on Halloween than to discover Devils under our house!

For more information about the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program please visit their web site or facebook page.

As for running?  Right Knee is coming along quite nicely thank you, she’s taking the lead from Left Knee who likes to hang out without drawing attention to herself.  I’m still only allowed to run 2kms at a time (although last night I did 2.5, I just wanted to run all the way up the driveway and back, a bit like old times when I was learning to run).  Today I’d say it’s 95% better.  On the plus side my abs and lats are becoming more toned with every exercise that I do.  My swimming and cycling are also coming along quite nicely.  When I run my pace hasn’t suffered a bit.  I have my sights set on Cadbury Half Marathon in mid-January but if I have to scale that back so be it.  I’m in running for a long time not a fast time.  Come on Right Knee the team kneeds you!

Happy running 🙂

PS One of the first things I asked Holly was about our two old domestic pussy cats, Mintie and Poppy.  According to Holly Devils don’t go for cats, they like their meat dead like we do!  The cats however have been acting a bit spooked and are hanging around inside more than usual.  I guess it’s Halloween so being spooked is quite acceptable!

PPS The Celebration of Halloween in Australia is relatively new.  As a child the only thing I knew about Halloween was from watching cartoons like Peanuts and the Great Pumpkin.  In recent years more Australians are observing this day of remembering the faithful who have departed…or really just an excuse to get dressed up, eat lollies and have a party!

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18 thoughts on “The Devil Hotline

  1. OMG, that’s awesome Annie but how do you sleep through that noise?
    Pleased to hear all is doing well on the running front, you’ll be super running Annie again in no time!

    • One night I moved into a different part of house, it was beyond noisy. I have a funny feeling that they have gone. Haven’t heard them since Monday and yesterday morning I noticed one of the cats creep very slowly and carefully where the Devil was in the trap and then head slowly under the house. Bit sad really but oh my goodness the noise was terrible! Oh I hope you’re right re the running. I miss it so badly. I hope you’re hurty bits are healing well too Sam.

  2. Oh how frikken exciting!!!!!! Can’t wait…, hope there are babies!!!! How awesome!
    Take care of those knees… take care of you… summer is on it’s way!
    I watched the carpet vid on IG and wondered what the heck you’d been smoking lololololol!!!! Then I realised!!!! So funny!!!!

    • Hehe the carpet video was funny. Janette couldn’t work it out until her Nicholas suggested she turn up the volume. I haven’t heard them since Monday so maybe they have gone. Time will tell. I was positively jumping up and down at the thought of babies out playing like puppies.

  3. How lovely to see your Tasmanian devils! They are the animal I picked for my running mojo but I only know them from the cartoons😊 But the sound recording – I can see why they called them devils! Scary!
    It sounds like you are getting a super fit core! Watch out next year- I think there will be a few PB’s on the way☺️

    • Thanks Julie 🙂 Devils are resilient and never give up so they are a great animal to have for running mojo. They don’t spin like Taz does though. But they do great distances. There is a video on the Save The Devil facebook page which shows five devils with tracking devices and how far they get around. I was amazed. They literally move around for miles and miles.

  4. What a fantastic tale Annie! I hope they haven’t moved house – what a great Halloween story. I haven’t seen one in the flesh yet but not sure about all that noise!

  5. Annie I loved the videos on IG and your story of the Devils Hotline had me in giggles. If those babies come out to play I swear I’m getting on a plane. Keep the video ready to go. Good news and good attitude on the running.

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 My first thought when I saw the Devil in the trap was ‘where are our international visitors when something awesome happens?’. I have a feeling they’ve gone but I’m still hopeful. Running continues to be two steps forward and one step back although the Osteo has suggested that it’s more like 20 steps forward and one step back and keep being hopeful. I miss running so much!

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