It was Friday evening, and I was heading home. Accompanied by the usual Radio 1 cacophony I was pottering through Leamington, pondering which of the many Jabberwocky jobs I should attempt when I reached home. I usually have 5 or 6 different bits of website fiddling to be getting on with, and believe it or not most blog posts take the best part of an evening, so naturally, I can’t afford to get distracted by helpless little hedgehogs teetering forlornly around on the pavement at the end of our road.
Initially I stopped, got out of the car and did what every responsible 21st century citizen would do, I took a picture. Problem solved I got back in the car and drove home, thinking about the poor creature. I’ve never really liked rodents as pets; not due to any particular prejudice, mostly just because they weren’t dogs. On the other hand I do have a soft spot for vertebrates. Mostly because they’re not spiders, mosquitoes, daddy long legs or earwigs.
Almost before I had a chance to think things through I found myself gathering a box, some newspaper and a few old rags, and heading back out there to do my bit.
Two other locals had gathered and were watching in concern. They saw me with my box and melted quickly away, pleased that something was being done and probably even more pleased that they weren’t the ones doing it. I was on a mission. The hedgehog, meanwhile, was trying to squeeze itself down a nearby drain. It looked wobbly and could hardly stand, so I coaxed it into my box and took it back to the house.
With him in his box in the garden I took to the internet to find out what to do with broken, probably dying hedgehogs. I started the day with a knowledge of hedgehogs amounting to knowing that they were lactose intolerant. By 7pm I was working on basic hedgehog first aid, and had already phoned my way down the rescue list in the Warwickshire area. By 8pm I had made up a rehydration fluid and emailed as well.
Logically there are now three ways this can play out.
1. He pulls through, and is snuffling around happily by morning. He winters at Jabberwocky HQ while he regains his strength, and them embarks into the garden to start a family in the spring.
2. He goes off to the vets the following day, they do everything they can for him, and I never see him again.
3. He doesn’t survive the night.
I’m sorry. At least he was warm and didn’t have to get run over by a car. The next post will be more upbeat, I promise.