Wednesday, 10 November 2010
A touch of the tiggywinkles
Sitting in meetings for a two day stretch has made me come home a tad grumpy, in need of something to make my spirit sing.
This evening I was uninspired, so headed to the garden to weed and then wash the windows. I hadn't got far with the weeding when I saw something move against the retaining wall. A very exhausted hedgehog was trying to climb two metres of vertical rounded planks. The poor thing was perplexed and exhausted. I suspect it had just come out of hibernation, and as its prickles looked fresh and new, think it was a yearling. It was almost relieved when I picked it up, then thought better of the situation and did the roll into a ball routine. Its snuffly nose was exquisite, its tiny paws as defenceless as a baby's and its tightly shut eyes reminiscent of a toddler faking sleep. I found a pile of leaves near the compost heap and made a bed for it. I was tempted to start a lullaby, but thought the neighbours might have found it strange that I was serenading a pile of potato peelings.
The Afrikaners have a great word for hedgehog, krimpvarkie, which translates as "shrink pig". When I returned to the mound of leaves a while later, this little shrink pig had taken itself off to market, or to find an evening snack.
Ms Tiggywinkle succeeded in de-grumping me - I am sure I will sleep well and dream of a couch of leaves.