Sunday, 3 August 2014

Have I Gone Too Far?


As I still help with the local Brownie pack one night a week, I was really looking forward to a *hedgehog rescue lady* coming to talk about them and possibly bringing some along for us to see.
Well, she did bring one round for us to see, but not touch. It was one that couldn't be returned to the wild because it was *not too bright* and didn't have the instincts to keep away from humans or other animals. The one she brought would need to live in the sanctuary for the rest of its life for it's own safety.
I've always been quite fond of hedgehogs ...... not that they seem to be prolific round our way and they do get squashed on the roads in the country side and towns alike. Other than that, I don't really see any but they do seem to be lovely little beasts who keep the garden free from slugs and snails and need to be encouraged at all costs.
I was first introduced to them at an early age through Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle book.

I came away from the Brownie pack meeting a changed person.
From then on, I squashed my washed out tins of food before putting them into the collection bins as hedgehogs often get their heads stuck and end up being horribly injured or starved to death. The same with yoghurt containers that are now slashed down the sides and plastic bags that are tied in a knot before going into the waste. Netting is really horrible stuff that needs to be knotted so as not to entangle little creatures.
There were whole lists of things to do and not to do in order to keep the hedgehog population from extinction.
Human beings do seem to be sending these prickly creatures to an early grave as well as our pets who also maul them about.
So now I go for walks and notice other peoples' hedgehog hazards. Instead of looking at their lovely displays of plant life, I'm noticing things in their waste containers that need to be squashed and made safe.

I recently found myself watching an unfortunate spider that had fallen into a tray under my dish draining rack. The spider had got soap on its legs and was struggling to get out of the rack. I put a tissue from the water to the other side of the tray (as I don't like spiders so didn't want to touch it but felt sorry for its predicament.) 
After a while my plan worked. It recovered enough to climb up the paper and ran to safety, amongst my dish mops.
Have I taken this *saving creatures* lark too far?
The spider is still out there in my kitchen somewhere.


21 comments:

rosaria williams said...

Not at all! Without people with your concerns, our whole world would collapse. As it is, we are losing species every day due to our agricultural ways, and our carelessness.

Wisewebwoman said...

MM:
I've saved a few spiders in my time and am not afraid of them. They do incredible work.
I have this huge one on my office window and to see her harvest of mosquitoes and flies every night is awesome.
We don't have hedgehogs here and alas my only exposure to them is dead on the roads in Ireland.
BUT, my friend and I saw an enormous beaver dam the other night. A new one.
Incredible.
XO
WWW

Rethink Street said...

No you haven't gone too far. If it makes you feel good, and makes the creature feel good, everyone's a winner! I recently rescued a trapped fly from a spider's web - it was good for me and good for the fly but probably really annoying for the spider. But 2 out of 3 ain't bad. Love, GBS x

Gosia k said...

Hedgehogs are fantastic animals I love them very much. Sorry but I am afraiod of spiders.You are wonderful person because you like them.

Celia said...

No, you haven't gone too far. My animal lover sister got a tattoo that says in part "there is no shame in kindness." The world needs more of you.

Rose said...

The world needs more people like you, Maggie! I find myself a lot more compassionate towards wild animals than I once was, especially insects, which I once abhorred. Everything has its purpose--well, maybe not Japanese beetles, which still get a quick squashing in my garden:) We don't have hedgehogs over here, and I think they are adorable. One of my daughter's favorite books was about Frances the hedgehog. Thanks for reminding me of that--I'm going to have to look for a copy of that for the new grandbaby on its way.

Rose said...

Oops, just realized Frances was a badger, not a hedgehog:)

Expat mum said...

Not at all. I don't like spiders but I refuse to stand on them, and my youngest and I saved a baby hedgehog a few years ago at my mother's. We spent the whole weekend filling large coke bottles with warm water (babies often die of hypothermia), feeding it dried dog food and generally trying to keep it alive till we could get it to the sanctuary.

Shammickite said...

I tend to save spiders too, not really because I like them but because I can't bear to kill them and I want them out of the house.
No hedgehogs around here in S Ontario, but I remember them well in England. Mum used to put bread and milk out under the hedge for one. We have porcupines here, quite a different garden visitor!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I'm like you Maggie, very fond of hedgehogs and a little afraid of spiders. Thanks for the reminder regarding disposal of refuse, there are so many pitfalls for our wildlife. I would help a spider too if I could, and have been known to put sugar and a drop of water down near bees when they have been trapped inside and look to be in need of sustenance!

Wendy said...

Oh Maggie, what a sweet tender heart you have. I don't think you've gone too far at all. I absolutely love Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and I think hedgehogs are sweet. I don't think we have any here in Canada.

About the garbage - don't you have lids on your containers? Lids that seal tight? That would solve the problem of little critters being hurt by open tin cans and plastic.
Sending hugs

mrsnesbitt said...

Not at all. When I am working in the garden I often have my hens gathering round for a worm - so I move on to another area, returning when the gals have occupied themselves with another task - usually sunbathing! We have a waste bin for plastics etc. I always put my containers straight into it.

Akelamalu said...

We have great big wheelie bins for recycling and rubbish, I don't think hedgehogs could climb in so any round here are safe from my tins and plastic bags. I never kill spiders and always help them out of the bath.

Millennium Housewife said...

If ever I come back as a spider, I hope it's in your home. So nice to read you again xx

Suldog said...

Too far? By no means! You are only doing what any kind empathetic person would do. You think about what it would be like to be such a creature, so you put yourself in their place. Then you do the nice thing. Too far? You are doing God's work for His creatures. And I salute you.

I try never to kill a bug simply because it happens to be in the same vicinity as myself. If I can relocate it, instead, why not?

As for hedgehogs, we don't really have them around here (I'm sure we do, maybe in small numbers, but I never see them.) Anyway, I have soft spot on my heart for them ever since watching Charlie & Lola cartoons. She was always fond of them and called them "Hedgy-Hogs".

cheshire wife said...

When I first started to read this post I thought that you were going to write that you had brought the hedgehog home with you, which might have been going to far.

Secret Agent Woman said...

No, that's the perfect response to learning how to help little hedgehogs stay safe. And all the better to have it generalize to other creatures.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Kind to hedgehogs and to spiders . . . . mum did bring us up well . . . lol
Loved your rescue plan for the spider and hope you can persuade it to go outside when you find it.
Love Eddie x

Brian Miller said...

ha. a healthy respect for all life is not a bad thing....hedges are so cool...i have touched one...through very thick gloves...at an animal rescue place near here....pretty cool how that talk affected you as well...

Hilary said...

Not at all. It's only right to look after any critter as long as it's not doing damage to our person our our home. I kind of draw the line at mosquitoes. I dislike spiders but I also try to capture them and relocate them outdoors so I'm on the same page as you.

Interesting that you mention the squashing of cans. I just saw a video the other day of a man rescuing a wee hedgehog from a tin can. Our skunks tend to do the same thing and they're not as easy to rescue without getting sprayed. I will remember to squash cans from now on. Thanks.

Retired English Teacher said...

No, you have not gone too far. You have made the rest of us aware of those creatures out there that might need our help.