I love hedgehogs! No, let me rephrase that. I absolutely adore hedgehogs! Now, I do believe that I’m not entirely alone in my fondness for these prickly wee creatures. I mean…just look at how cute this picture of a mummy hedgehog and her hoglets (for this is what baby hedgehogs are called!) is.?
As far back in time as the Greeks, there’s evidence that these snuffly, spiky characters had caught the interest of us less-intriguing humans, if this Greek proverb is anything to go on:-
‘The fox knows many things, the hedgehog but one, but it is enough.’
Fast-forward to the early 1900s and you’ll discover that hedgehogs were woven into many a story. Take a look at the tale below from South Slovenia which echoes the Greek proverb above:-
‘A fox meeting a hedgehog asked him, “How many wits have you?” And he replied, “Only three. But how many have you?” “I,” boasted the fox,” have seventy-seven.” As they were talking and walking along, not noticing where they were going, they fell into a deep hole which the peasants had dug. The fox asked the hedgehog to save him. The hedgehog said, “I have only three wits. Perhaps you will save me first, then I will see about you afterwards,” and he asked the fox to pitch him out of the hole. The fox did so, and then asked the hedgehog whether he could help him. The hedgehog said, “I cannot help you with three, if you cannot help yourself with seventy-seven.” And so the fox was caught in the morning by the peasants and killed.’ Cripes! Bit harsh I thought, but there we go! ?
On a lighter note, we will all of course remember Beatrix Potter’s charming and adorable Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. She was and still is, my favourite of Miss Potter’s characters and remains as real in my mind, as she was when I was a little girl ?
Finally, bringing us to more current times, Sonic and Shadow Hedgehogs found themselves quite at home for a very long time, ruling the roost of the gaming industry ? :-
So as you can see, from just a very brief look at the ‘entertainment industry’, shall we say, from past to present day, I think I can safely say that hedgehogs are certainly dear to us. ?
Having said all this joyous, ‘spine’-tingling (ha ha! Sorry, couldn’t resist that! ?) stuff about hedgehogs, you may or may not be aware that hedgehog numbers in the UK are shockingly on the decline….? Back in May 2013, it was reported that the UK hedgehog population had fallen from 36 million, back in the ‘diner-days’ of the 1950s, to just one million! I also happened to read this week about Central London’s last remaining hedgehogs and how they are managing to survive, by avoiding the busy roads. For more of these articles, please click on the links:- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322257/Farewell-hedgehogs-Numbers-plummet-36million-1950-just-million-today.html
So with all this hedgehoggy-ness floating around my brain, there was only one thing for it! ‘Whimsy Wood’ was in need of a hedgehog family!! Now there are numerous hedgehog names floating around my imagination currently, but one name I am certain of. This is ‘Humbug Hedgehog’, who I’d like you to meet…..
Bearing in mind that this scrumptious wee fella is very near to the ground, whilst contemplating his character I imagined how he would see his surroundings within the enchanting ‘Whimsy Wood’. The image below summed up what I had in my brain ?
Now before I go and attempt to be ‘creative’ elsewhere, I’ll remind you that ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, book 7 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series, will be launched at The White Horse Book Shop in Marlborough, on Saturday June the 27th. In the meantime, Abela Publishing (publishers of my work) are running a special offer for all 7 books in the 1st set of my series! Here is the link to this amazing saving ? http://abelapublishing.com/whimsy-wood-series-set-1–7-book-special-offer_p27279552.htm
Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical weekend ?
Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood Series