One of the World’s great questions answered….
I found the answer to one of the great unanswered questions of civilisation the other day – right in the middle of the A59, one of the busiest days in the country.
Is it "How did they build the pyramids"? No it is not.
Is it "Can I really turn base metals into gold"? No it is not.
Is it "Do they actually get any viewers to watch ‘Dance X’ on Saturday night TV?" No it is not.
No, no, the great question that can now be struck off the WGQ list is "Can you really get hold of a hedgehog with your bare hands without running the risk of a fistful of puncture wounds?
And the answer is – yes …. and no….
So I’m tootling along the A59, minding my own business when I see the little prickly fella wandering along the centre line.
One thing’s for certain – it will get run over, it will not see another prickly sunrise, it will die within the next minute unless I do the right thing.
I bumped the car up onto the pavement and got out. There was a lull in the traffic – and the guy behind me had sort of decided to straddle the highway in an attempt to block the route while I did my lifesaving best. I tippy-toed up behind the hedgehog, put my fingers underneath and lifted him up. He curled around my fingers with his soft underbelly. I reached the safety of the pavement and waved a wave of thanks to the bloke in the car behind me with my brand new prickly muffler
So what to do with the little fella then? I had to get him off my hands pretty quick. A likely spot was found, a nice woody hedge bordering the pavement – and a Victorian garden beyond. I wound myself up sort of like Fred Flintstone about to deliver one of his stone bowling balls. I bowled. There was a steep incline just beyond the hedge, he rolled all the way to the top, and then rolled all the way back again, straight past me and almost back into the road.
A deft bit of footwork saved the day – I thought about a bit of keepy-uppy but decided against it. I would have to lift him again - but this time without the luxury of getting my fingers into his soft underbelly.
I picked him up. Every single little pointy point stabbed into my hands – it was like handling a red hot bag of nails, without the bag.. I started to shift him from hand to hand – like he was a mega-hot giant jacket spud or something.
Where to put him? Anywhere, just somewhere quick….
I ran up the drive of the Victorian garden, full to the brim with 100 year-old trees. I reckoned this was where he came from. A startled lady, resplendent in a big flowery hat and a trowel in her gardening gloved hand looked up from her work in the flower-beds.
"This is yours, I think"
I gently placed ‘Hedgy’ under a bush and left.
And my hands? On the throb-o-meter around regulo 184 – and in my wildest dreams, who’d have thought that me, Mr Hetrosexual 1973 would be writing about having a load of hot pricks in my hot sweaty hands?….