An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, November 20, 2006

Synthetic velcro

It's just gone half past midnight.
Outside it is cold and clear.
There is next to no moon.
Here inside it is warm.
The tiles have warmed.
The stove has been fed its last logs of the evening.
The house is snug.
And I'm just settling down in bed.
Warming G's side.
And then it begins.
The three note bark of Molly.
Repeating and repeating.
Bridey joins in now and then.
But only desultorily.
Molly begins to squeak her high pitched hedgehog squeak.
Distinctive and piercing she only uses it when hedgehogs are at bay.

G plods downstairs and pulls on her boots and a fluffy jacket, she switches on the outside lights and steps into the chill.
Both terriers point at the offending creature.
Moll squeaks and Bridey barks.
G goes to retrieve the whisk broom.
Clomping around in the ankle high oxalis, damp with dew already, she finds the hedgehog.
It rolls into a ball.
Spikes outermost.
And as she sweeps it it sticks.
Its spines dig firm in the undergrowth and the damp earth.
The dogs go noisily mad at G being frustrated by this creature.
They want to kill it.
With firm resolve G moves it on only a few metres and
pots it tidily behind the dog-shit bucket.
Masking it from view.
Masking its scent.

The girls fall silent.
On the tip toe of anticipation.
But mute.
They wait.
For the hedgehog to re-appear.
G hopes that it will vamoose.
And goes back indoors -
to warm herself by the stove -
before retiring at last -
to the now warm bed.

"A hedgehog in oxalis is like a natural form of velcro" she says
before I drop off
not really bothered
by the prospect of a return visit.

And Molly starts up again
twenty minutes later ...


  1. My dobie used to bark at hedgehogs too, and jump on them with his forelegs rigid as if trying to crush them with his paws.

    I finally managed to cure him of this by picking up the hedgehog and appear to stoke it (it was curled into a ball) abd speak quietly to it. I then 'introduced' it to the dog, as I used to do with humans he didn't know. From then on, he accepted hedgies running through our garden without demur - but never cats, badgers, or foxes.

  2. Put hedgehog+velcro into a search engine and you will see that this is not a very original thought...