The British Hedgehog
Maybe you had no idea — I know I’d never even thought about it — but the hedgehog has been around in some form since the time of the dinosaurs. How on earth did they survive? If the sabre-toothed tiger couldn’t hang on, how could a tiny hedgehog?
Hedgehogs are another British lovely, not only because we don’t have them here in the states, but because they’re so darn cute and prickly all at the same time. What’s not to love in a small, round, cuddly creature that spits on herself by licking a rock or piece of wood to start the saliva flowing, then swings her sweet little head back and forth spitting everywhere? Cute, huh?
Probably the most famous hedgehog was Beatrix Potter’s Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle—the tiny hedgehog washerwoman who lived in a tiny cottage in the hills.
The story starts out thus:
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little-town. She was a good little girl - only she was always losing her pocket-handkerchiefs!
One day little Lucie came into the farmyard crying - oh, she did cry so! "I've lost my pocket-handkin! Three handkins and a pinny! Have you seen them, Tabby Kitten?"
Happily, little Lucie ends up meeting Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, who saves the day—as hedgehogs can so often be counted on to do—and they all live happily ever after, which is how books should end.
Unfortunately, the Tiggy-Winkles of this world are fast disappearing. A 10-year study by People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) shows that in the 1950s there were about 36 million hedgehogs, while today there are fewer than I million. What's causing this? Experts say it’s the same thing destroying many other animal and plant life: loss of food and habitat. What I want to know is how one actually goes about counting hedgehogs? I actually looked this up and the term "road kill" featured prominently in the answer. I lost interest after that so I have nothing to report.
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