We bought a little hibernation house for a small hedgehog we’ve called Tucker – after the food we assiduously set out for him. We understand that hedgehogs are not much minded to share their garden space with slugs. This little fellow stands out in the crowd. Tucker is content to tuck into his tucker in company with the slugs who dine on it with him. They and he are creatures of habit, appearing at the same time most evenings.
So the setting up of the little house, camouflaging it, taking care not to leave our human scent on it, and scattering a few leaves inside to give him a head start, has been great fun. The thought of safe hibernation for our admired (if hapless) Tucker through the winter months warmed us. Until we thought he’d been sped on his way to hedgehog glory by the wheels beneath an internal combustion engine.
For four nights our evening hours have stuttered along between normal evening activities and frequent pulling back of the kitchen curtain, checking, without hope, for signs of a returned wanderer. We’ve both been sad. The little hedgehog hall was an unnecessary luxury. Except that tonight … and though hard to articulate, a small hedgehog’s reappearance, in company with garden slugs, has us hardly able to contain our delight.