What’s round like a bowling ball, covered in spikes, and cute enough to melt your heart?
A hedgehog, of course! We had one back in our college days, and he traveled with us all the way from BYU in Provo, Utah to W&L in Lexington, VA. We did stop for a month or so in St. Louis, MO, so he could take a short break from car rides, but I think he was a trooper traveler. And then, while my hubby was in school, we would move each summer, so he went with us to Maryland and the next summer to Alexandria, Va. He really was a well-traveled hedgehog. And throughout it all he remained sweet, easy-going, and excellent at teaching our little boy the essential skill of being gentle with animals–or learn exactly what happens to people who don’t treat a hedgehog with respect.
Unfortunately I couldn’t dig up a picture of him–they were probably ruined in the great basement flood of early 2010. But this guy could be his cousin.
And today’s flash piece–with the prompt of overcoming physical obstacles with gold-medal flair–is in honor of him.
My skin was dry and my spines thirsty–I needed a bath! But Ora, my human, was busy watching her screen where other humans twisted and turned on ice. Sometimes she got all excited about it, but I didn’t see what was the big deal. The water was hard, so it was no good for bathing.
No matter, I’m a resourceful hedgehog and that’s saying something, you know. We hedgehogs have been swimming streams and adventuring in new lands for longer than dogs have been begging. I’d just have to get my own bath.
First challenge was escaping my playpen on the floor. I’d done it before, but remembering how was a little tricky. Did my front feet go here? Or was it there? Oops. No, that wasn’t it. Maybe a different corner was better–not all the little wire fences were quite the same, so another set might make for an easier climb.
I reached as high as I could–stretched my paws and gripped the top, than scrambled with my legs–and fell back down inside the pen. Phooey. Back to the first corner. Stretch again–reach! The front paws had no trouble, but the back paws just slipped uselessly. Then I saw my favorite sock lying on the floor and that gave me a little extra oomph. My right rear leg came up, caught, and I was over!
I chortled to myself and trundled over to my sock. Ahh, sock. So much fun to play with. But I didn’t stick my head in too far, cause I didn’t want to get stuck. I was a hedgehog on a mission.
Into the bathroom I scurried, my nails skittering on the smooth floor. I looked around for the sink where Ora always bathes me but–wow. It was a lot higher than I remembered. How was I ever going to get so high?
I plunked down on the floor to think. Back in the bedroom, Ora cheered and clapped. Then someone played some music that sounded like battle had been won. But, I was no closer to getting my bath.
The trouble is, the bathroom cabinets are slick and smooth, with nowhere for my paws to grip. But I didn’t climb out of my cage only to be defeated now! I stared intently around the bathroom til I thought I had a path mapped out. It would take daring, and hedgehog resourcefulness, but it could be done. First step, make a rope ladder from the toilet paper.
Two good jumps, and I had the dangling end of the tp. Now all I had to do was pull the rest off, and why not have a little fun with that? I stuck the tp to my spikes, crouched low, and raced to the end of the bathroom!
Except, the tp ran out just before I got to the door and jerked me off my feet. Not to worry–they don’t call me a hedgehog for nothing. I curled into a ball and let that tp roll me right back to the wall. Of course, that made just a little bit of a mess and I got some bits of shredded tp in my spikes, but at least in the end I got myself untangled.
Now I had a strip of tp running up to the brown paper roll, and once I climbed that it was my plan to leap across to the potted plant beside the counter, and walk across its big, broad leaves to the sink. Brilliant, yes?
And the first part went perfectly…it was only the last part that fell apart. Because those leaves might look sturdy, but really they’re quite flimsy, as I can tell you now. When I made my leap the whole plant swayed, and when I started crawling out on the leaf, it snapped at the stem! I went plunging down and bonked into the side of the pot. Luckily I’d curled into my tightest ball, so I bounced right off, but the pot swayed crazily and came crashing down after me.
Well, I just kept myself curled tight, squeezed my eyes shut, and rolled to safety! Phew. No harm done.
Ora heard the thump, and came running to see what it was. When she saw me sitting in the middle of the soil with tissue stuck to my spines and dirt all over me, she let out a squeal like the sound she made when the other humans jumped and twirled. I smiled at that–it’s always nice to be appreciated–and took a small bow.
Ora started to laugh, and then bent down to scoop me up. “Hedgie, you need a bath!”
Well, duh! I could have told her that.
Notice how up above I didn’t mention my hedgehog’s name? That’s because…and I hardly dare confess it…I think his name was Hedgie. Or, at least that’s what we called him. Probably the most un-creative name a hedgehog could ever have, right? I blame the toddler. What’s your favorite kind of pet? And what’s the most boring–or original–name you’ve ever given an animal?
Jump in with your own Flash Friday piece, and add your linky here. Thanks for stopping by!