There are many hedgehog figurines in this garden and a cabinet-full in the house. One day my sister arrived with a
new one for the collection, but it was breathing and came to be named Miss Thistle. I acquired Mr. Thistle from a breeder and the two begot a litter from which we have retained Miss Holly and Miss Tiddlywinks. Hand
raised from hog-let infancy, they are extremely tame, each having distinctive personalities. The now Mrs. Thistle likes to tap out rhythms on the floor with a red plastic cap on her nose and drag small
clothing items or balloons around in her mouth. Miss Tiddlywinks is a speedy explorer who is difficult to keep up with on walkies. Her sister, Miss Holly is shy and glad to just hide and sniff one spot in the
garden. Mr. Thistle was mostly lethargic in-between breeding duty (typical male?), but a beautiful creamy-white, so that his girls are slightly lighter-colored than their mom.
No, our hedgehogs do not live in the garden, we only
take them them for fresh-air walkies and adventures outdoors. Being of the African Pygmy sort, they may well endure living in our climate, but we don't take the chance of loosing them through a chink in the fence. Rolling up into a tight spiny ball is their one defense against predators. It is no defense against their most prevalent predator; the car. The concerned British have built little under-road tunnels for the hedgehog´s right-of-way. It has been reported that the hedgies have not taken to using the tiny underpasses. Please let us know if there are better developments in this attempt to preserve the hoggie´s native grounds, which have been invaded by speeding townie cars that now zoom between the hedgerows, where once it was safe for horses, cyclists and hedge-dwellers. (Not to mention wayward American garden-seekers, driving slowly on the wrong side of the road.)