Once upon a time…
As I collected my washing from the washing line, a hedgehog paused at my feet and rested next to a peg on the ground. Mrs Tiggy-Winkle had come to help me with the washing. I rushed to collect my camera, hoping that she would wait for me to return.
Hurray! Mrs Tiggy-Winkle waited for me to capture the moment. I couldn’t wait to send out the image via Twitter and Facebook. My husband downloaded the image whilst I searched for an extract from one of Beatrix Potter’s books. The photo was saved in a folder labelled ‘Home Hedgehog’, because she was our hedgehog. Having constructed the post, I pressed send and we raised a glass to our hedgehog.
As expected the notifications and re-tweets followed. Jenn Bregman said, ‘Sooooo cute!!’. Angela Petch remarked, ‘Eat those slugs Mrs Tiggy-Winkle…’ The hedgehog charmed everyone. Author, Jacqueline Kirk, asked, ‘Was the hedgehog out in daylight?’ Pondering this, I knew something was wrong. Jacqueline tweeted more information. ‘#WildlifeOrphan1 says they are in trouble if out in daylight. The little fella looks small.’
Reality started to kick in, I realised that this wasn’t Mrs Tiggy-Winkle: it was either Ms or Mr Tiggy-Winkle. Returning to my prized photo, I noticed that he/she was indeed a tiny, fluffy creature. As my grandmother would have said, he/she is ‘nowt but a bairn’. Should he/she have been out at that time of day?
Jacqueline Kirk sent out a Code Red asking for advice. I worried all night about the little hedgehog. The Hedgehog Helpline didn’t answer my call. The following morning, I had a brainwave and contacted John Jackson, author of, ‘Heart of Stone’, and hedgehog whisperer. Thankfully, the lovely man messaged me instantly.
‘That’s early, but not exceptional. We’ve had the hedgehogs out before sunset many times.’
Phew! Feeling better, I made myself a cup of tea and then called the Hedgehog Helpline again. The wonderful woman was so calm and grateful for the call. Her words echoed those of The Hedgehog Whisperer. However, I can call the helpline again if the hog appears and they will assess his/her behaviour. I may have to take my little hog to Hedgehog Hospital. I didn’t know that these wonderful people existed. Thank you, Hedgehog Helpline SEW, John Jackson and Jacqueline Kirk!
I will end with Jacqueline Kirk’s tweet:
That’s the beauty of twitter. I only found this out last week and now a little hog on the other side of the country has a kind person looking out for them.
And I hope that the hedgehog lives happily ever after!