Did I tell you about Tim the hedgehog? I probably did, but I can’t remember so there’s no reason why you should. It was back in January, about 4 o’clock on a frosty afternoon, when I returned from shutting up the chickens and feeding the outside cats, when I spotted this hedgehog curled up on the drive. It was clearly miserable and going nowhere. So I fetched gloves, put it in a box and put down a plate of cat food, and went to phone the local hedgehog sanctuary. I had to defrost the car windscreen before I left, it was chillier by the minute but, on the way, the hedgehog started to eat the food, which was quite a relief.
Tessa, the hedgehog rescuer, sprayed him with flea killer and I watched with some ewiness as the little buggers hopped off. She also removed a tick. But she emailed me reports every few days, saying that he’d responded to tlc and was putting on weight. As the weeks went on, he actually doubled his weight, from 545 grams to 1150 grams. Since he obviously didn’t grow that much in a month, he was evidently severely underweight to the point of starvation at the start.
Anyway, when I took him along to Tessa, she wanted me to name him. I’m not big on naming wild animals. I don’t even name the chickens and they’re pets. So, in some hasty anxiety, I called him Tim. And today, Tessa brought him back. He’s looking very cheerful and is snuggled up in his box full of torn-up newspaper, with a big plate of food nearby in case he’s peckish.
Tim the man hasn’t commented on his namesake, though he’s fond of hedgehogs himself – I mean, that he hasn’t commented on his name being adopted for a prickly thing. Totes inappropriate, in that regard, obvs.