Harry–whose mother, the renown Mrs.Tiggy-Winkle, told him not to worry–
“You have a way with you, Harry” she said “doors will always open for you–you’re a lucky one….’
CAME BACK last night!
Meredith was in the kitchen, taking a late phone call; I was in bed reading about the causes of the First World War!
We’d closed up for the night–all the doors to the house were shut.
She heard a noise over by the cat bowls. “Someone is having late night snack,” she thought.
Not one of the cats though–the young ones were outside, Pippa up on the bed with me.
She couldn’t quite see the bowl from where she was sitting, so she got up, phone in hand and there–cool as you like–was a hedgehog, tucking into the cat food.
They looked at each other in a shared moment of disbelief–before he dodged round the corner into the larder.
She explained the situation to the friend on the phone:
“You won’t believe this but there’s another hedgehog in the house!”
Then shot upstairs to tell me the tale.
“Where is it now?”
“In the larder–we’ll have to get it out of there!”
“Is it Harry?”
“I’m not sure.”
No escape, I thought, put my book aside and rolled out of bed.
There he was–in the corner–protected by a roasting rack, as far away as he could get.
Curled up into a tight ball, he looked smaller than Harry.
Was it another member of the intrepid Tiggy-Winkle family, “chancing its arm”?
We cleared the cluttered space and Meredith gently managed to grasp him, protected by a pair of tough gardening gloves.
Two days ago, while Harry was still in the flying basket, before he scuttled back to Mum, Meredith had dabbed a spot of pink nail varnish on the tip of some of his spikes, to identify him should he return.
“Look, Rob–there’s the pink mark!”
Hard to see at first but there it was.
We felt like a pair of nature conservationists!
It was Harry–the first hedgehog to fly in the history of the world!
Clearly emboldened by his first adventure and apparently finding that door open again, he may have thought, “Well, the worst that can happen to me is I get to fly a second time. Here goes!”
Meredith gently carried him outside and left him to find his bearings next to a bowl of cat food…and prepare another explanation for a worried Mother Tiggy-Winkle.