Spindle and the Hedgehog

I shall begin this tale in a dramatic way, because my dear pals, it has been a dramatic day for us all at Spindle Towers. I am telling you this as I recline in my evening hammock, the velvet lined one. One spindlesome limb is flung out to the side, with a glass of something potent clutched in my paw. I feel rested and refreshed enough to begin my torrid tale. It has a little bit of everything in it I think, buttock clenching drama, high emotion and also Hector’s beloved Land Rover Series 3…Leroy. The name is absolutely nothing to do with us, we inherited it, the moniker of the large, growling, thirsty, rusty, love of Hectors life. 

So sit back and relax, close your beadsome eyes and imagine a visual fading of reality – very much like the special effects on Dr Who in the Seventies and Eighties. 

…Wibblewobble Wibblewobble…

“STOP”! Muvver screeched from the depths of her puny asthmatic lungs. Leroy swerved precariously and we were all flung to one side, and then, as Newtons law of motion would dictate, we pinged off to the other side. The mechanical beast came to an abrupt halt and we all exhaled slowly, so we could gather our wits and any outlaying body parts that had become disarranged. Nobody seemed to have noticed that I had been upturned in the emergency stop and was in need of assistance to return myself to a sensible and more ladylike position.

Hector was the first to recover and as you would expect, enquired as to the cause of the unexpected squawking from the tiny terror. These were not his exact words I am afraid, yet again (and as often happens in the Land Rover for some inexplicable reason) his terminology becomes intermittently forthright and a tad abrasive. 

Muvver, now recovered had begun waving her arms about in a state of some distress. It was a while before we could decipher her garbled twitterings, but eventually we made out the word ‘hedgehog’. Hector and I looked at each other in the way people do when they are afraid that a family member is verging on an emotional collapse, apprehension and perhaps a sad little shake of the head, that they had been expecting this, although perhaps not quite so soon. 

Hector made her breathe in and out of an unused poo bag as we had no brown paper bags to hand. A top tip here, poo bags don’t seem to work as she just inhaled the entire bag in her capacious gob as she breathed in.  After careful bag extraction, one chorus of Puff the Magic Dragon, she was calm. She explained to us, that we had driven past a hedgehog that had succumbed to the wheels of a car. A battle within which a hedgehog will never prevail – unless of course someone tinkers with them genetically…then who knows!

Thankfully it was not our car, or as Hector grumbled a reminder that a Land Rover is not a car – it is a lifestyle. Nether the less, she was devastated. A slight digression here. Hedgehogs are the most wonderful creatures…unless of course you sit on one whilst having your night time widdle (me, on this occasion). They really are very rare these days and we are all big fans of them. We once rescued a baby one, and since then we have been self confessed hedgehog saviours. 

We were all rather upset by her news, a little tear plopped down Hectors cheek (facial) and we said a little prayer to the Goddess of Hedgehogs. This wasn’t enough for Muvver though. She claimed that it was disrespectful for a hedgehog to be left in the middle of a road, where other tyres could add insult to injury….and when I say insult, I mean a severe flattening. 

Within five minutes we had rummaged around in the depths of the Leroy and located an empty box to put/pour the hedgehog into, oh and two fruit pastilles to gently pop onto the hedgehogs eyes to pay the Goddess for her time and effort and ease safe passage into the next world.

Hector reversed Leroy and we toodled back up the road to pay our respects. We trooped over towards the final resting splat of the hedgehog, our heads lowered in reflection and respect, fruit pastilles and box at the ready. (A Marks and Spencer’s sandwich box no less, which we all felt was a fitting and quite moving tribute)

It was as we edged towards the sad little heap, that we discovered that it wasn’t a hedgehog after all…it was a small, soggy pile of straw that had fallen off a tractor at some point. Muvver simply said “Oh…” There was then silence for a few heartbeats, and I must admit that at this point I was sniggering behind my paw, revelling in the fact that absolutely none of this was my fault this time. 

As a mark of his exasperation, Hector ate the fruit pastilles, sighed and retreated to his beloved Leroy. We joined him shortly afterwards, in a jubilant mood. Once again we had saved a hedgehog! Hurrah for us!

Remember pals, look out for those prickly little darlings, pip pip until next time.

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