A Tale from Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle of the Tarn
–with apologies to B. Potter!
It was when she was about to iron Harry’s shirt–a day or two ago now, even three–that Mrs Tiggy-Winkle had a thought.
“Where is Harry for that matter–haven’t set eyes on him for–well, a day or two now.
He’s always off somewhere–it’s a worry, but he usually comes back by dinner time!”
Harry’s hunger for adventure has its limitations.
What did he say?
“Ma–you know you always say–‘Harry, no need to worry about your future, you have a way with you; doors will always open for you–you’re a lucky one–I feel it in my water, you’ll fall in the butter dish, my boy, mark my words–you will!’
Well, today’s the day, Ma–I’ve spotted a door and it’s open…
And we know that Harry’s was telling the truth about the open door, because a day or two ago–even three, we started finding “EVIDENCE” of an additional presence in the house.
We’d grown accustomed to finding “evidence” these past few weeks to be sure, but always OUTSIDE the house; now this “evidence” was appearing INSIDE!
I found some on the floor of the larder–Meredith found some around the cats’ feeding bowls.
It took a moment for the penny to drop (or tuppence in this case!).
Then we looked at each other…
“There’s a HEDGEHOG in the house!”
Finding a hedgehog in hiding is only marginally easier than finding a needle in a haystack.
Concealment is their business–they’re professionals and even to a youngster like Harry, it’s second nature.
“I’ll look in the pile of firewood,” says Meredith unconvincingly and heads for the dining room.
No luck–but more “evidence”.
There’s hope though.
A late spring cleaning is seriously underway and tables and chairs are piled high with STUFF, reducing the places of safety for hedgehogs–in search of a quiet nook.
“Rob, Rob come here–QUICK!!”
Meredith’s voice is coming from outside the front door.
There, in a shopping basket that had been parked on the front hall floor, is Harry–just visible under a light cotton shopping bag, his cover blown, his singular adventure at an end–surrounded by “evidence”. (How LONG has he been in residence??)
Meredith thinks to lift him out with a pair of oven gloves.
“No! no!” I cry, “in the basket–carry him in the basket round the corner, next to the woodpile near where they come from to eat in the evenings.”
A short flight but an historic one, through the gate and round the corner–one can’t be sure but maybe it’s the first recorded flight by a hedgehog in the history of the world!
Meredith gently lands the basket with Ben overseeing the operation.
…and eating the cat food meant to entice Harry out of his basket home!
After a deal of sniffing round the rim and peeking over the top Harry finds a way out and scuttles off back to Mum!
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle wasn’t far wrong–things fall out well for Harry–he even got to fly!