When I had been living in France for some years somehow the subject arose of the famous classic, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
I had read the children's book sometime as a kid and I thought about Fox, Toad, Ratty, Mole and the other characters when living in England. It was in England that I had finally spotted a real Badger.
But I had never actually seen a hedgehog and I mused about this one day with my husband. "Well you might see one here if you want to since they are all over Europe. " Well, I vowed that I did want to.
The very next morning around five in the morning, my husband was shouting ," Mary, come here". I thought what the *** is this? I never get up at five.... what? My husband was at the front door calling and there on the top of many steps leading up to our entry was a smallish hedgehog!!
photo reflagged from oasis of sanity
Monsieur said, "Well you asked for him and I woke up to some scratching noise on the door. Here he is..... "Hedgy" at your command, Madame!"
And that has remained one of the minor miracles of my life. I had asked for him and after many years of lodging in France, he had come as beckoned. We brought this little hedgehog into the house carefully, with gloves on, and he curled into a ball not to reveal himself for several minutes. He stunk to high heaven but I was amazed and thrilled.
After that day, we had a hedgehog couple living in our garden for several years until we inherited our fearless feline, Gaston. Ask my sister, she remembers when Hedgy wandered into the guest room when we had left our downstairs door open after dusk.
After this first meeting on the steps, we could see a small pile of debris and leaves in the far corner every winter while Hedgy ( my husband's naming again) and his mate hibernated at "the little yellow house". I hope we will see them again. I will get right on it!
photo reflagged from wild about Devon blog