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.