1 EAGLETON NOTES: A Big Hedgehog

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Monday, 9 August 2010

A Big Hedgehog

I feel sure that the majority of my friends in Blogland will be lovers of Hedgehogs.  Indeed as they are rather attractive living creatures I like them too.  There is however a very big ‘but’ attached to my that sentiment.  They have only relatively recently been introduced into the western Isles and the damage they do to the ground-nesting bird population is enormous.  I had evidence of that excellent nourishment when I found this chap in the garden a few weeks ago.  He was the largest Hedgehog I had ever seen. 

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Oddly looking at him now I can only think about my very first encounter with a hedgehog when I was a small child.  We were holidaying in the Glyn Valley in Wales and there was a group of travelling people in the valley and, being an inquisitive child I went off to talk to them.  They told me they were Didicoys.  Until I just looked up Didicoy on Wikipedia I thought that Didicoys were Gypsies but I see that there is actually a subtle difference.  No matter.  They told me that the hedgehogs were very important to them as a source of food.  They used to cover them in clay and bake them in the camp fire.  The spines came off with the clay when they had baked.  I have to say that this splendid chap would have made a very good meal.  For someone else.  At moments like that I become a vegetarian!

3 comments:

  1. He's a handsome fellow. Hope the birds recover.

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  2. That is a really good image. If they are getting a problem drive at night and fast.

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  3. I never heard of anyone eating hedgehog! (I would not try but then there are lots of things I would not try...) I remember them from my childhood, we used to put out milk for them on the terrace. (Later I've read that milk is actually not good for their digestion.) They have become more rare since then, with the increase in traffic. Maybe they've moved to Lewis to find some peace and quiet.

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