?

Log in

 
 
04 January 2008 @ 12:12 pm
A Bed of Noses: Hedgie PicSpam!  
I've been meaning to do a picspam forever of Christopher and his hedgehogs. The visit over the vacation to a hedgehog breeder was just the nudge I needed!


The story of a boy and his many hedgehogs…



I thought at first that Hedgie here (formerly Baby Hedgie) was what really kicked off Christopher's obsession with hedgehogs. Hedgie came from one of the The Enchanted Forest gift shops (an Oregon tourist attraction); he was a 3rd birthday present to Christopher from his big sister. Hedgie is slightly smaller than a pear, and of a similar shape. Look at those flippy little ears, and that tiny smile! He is seriously the cutest toy hedgehog I've ever seen.



But then I remembered some of the hints in the past. There was Daddy Hedgie, who started life as a *koff* dog toy. My parent's dog didn't care for him, but Christopher sure did. He toddled around their house at age 2 with Daddy Hedgie draped over his shoulder, and finally my parents decided it should come home with us. Daddy Hedgie used to make this great noise that was halfway between gronk and a wheeze, but sadly, no more:



However, even Daddy Hedgie was not the beginning. No, I am fairly convinced that the early imprint below is probably responsible for starting the whole thing:



Yes, Mrs. Tiggywinkle herself. Christopher used to love having me read the Beatrix Potter books to him—even though I had to translate some of the language on the fly, he wanted to hear these stories, starting somewhere before 18 months. So Mrs. Tiggywinkle was one of his early memories, a good 6-8 months before Daddy Hedgie was even a blip on the horizon.

We also have this wonderful Molly Brett picture that I coincidentally found at Goodwill. All I did was touch up the frame, and voila! This is actually in our living/family room. Note the hedgehog at the far right:



And after Christopher acquired Baby Hedgie, I ran into this other Molly Brett picture at an antique store. This excerpt features the train porter:



We also can't discount the influence of Jan Brett. After buying her illustrated "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," our next purchase was "Trouble With Trolls." This book has an entire second story in the detailed margins, which features guess what? Yes—a hedgehog!



Brett's "Hedgie's Surprise" is another favorite, for obvious reasons. Brett draws wonderful hedgehogs.

The next member of the hedgehog family was Brother Hedgie. I found him at Walgreen's and got him as a Valentine's Day present for Christopher. I offered to remove the "Hedge Huggs" heart, but Christopher actually likes it (I've even sewn it back on when it came loose):



Then my sister sent us this hand-me-down, which apparently is the official Beanie Baby hedgehog, now Mama Hedgie. Seriously, this is one of the lamest Beanie Babies ever—it doesn't even have fur! But the detail on the nose/whiskers is very good. The hedgehog breeder we visited has two of these in her shed:



And last but not least we have these two little critters, both of which came from Safeway and I believe are also *koff* dog toys. One is Sister Hedgie, and the other is Uncle Hedgie or Cousin Hedgie or who-knows-what. I'll call him Random Relative Hedgie. I can't tell them apart, but Christopher seems to think he can. I don't care for the color much, but these chirp when you squeeze their tummies, which is very cute. Sometimes I'll be reading to Christopher in bed, and I'll hear "Chit! Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!" and think, "What was that? Oh. Ha! I did that. I'm leaning on someone. Oops."



Now, can you spot all the hedgies in this Bed of Noses picture? Yes, this is pretty much what the upper corner of Christopher's bed looks like. There's hardly room for him!



How'd you do? Did you find all 6 hedgies, but no extras?

And from my aunt and uncle, who are paring down their possessions in that depressing way that the elderly do (my last visit was kind of somber), we have these fantastic little things. Cast iron, from Bulgaria if I recall correctly, these are nested hedgehogs which were perfect for Christopher! I tried to show some of the detail in the metal—there are distinct ears, some "spine" texture, and eyes. Aren't they something?

Iron Hedgehog Family spread

And thanks to a bizarre book we read called, "Donuthead," the concept of a porcupine stampede was recreated on our camping trip this year as a hedgehog stampede. With some of the hedgies facing the wrong way:

Hedgehog stampede

And there you have the history of Christopher and his hedgehogs! Which leads us nicely into part two, the visit to the hedgehog farm.

*

Hedgehog Farm Visit
One of my sister's closest friends apparently got a couple of hedgehogs in the last year, and she wants to breed them. She contacted a breeder online, who happens to live about 10 minutes from my parents' house, and had a male for breeding and a female to send along too. These will stay temporarily at the friend's house with her two females, while breeding goes on.

The hedgehogs are kept in a portable shed, which is temperature controlled. The breeder has about 30 of them (!), including several borders who come regularly. They're all kept in cages that are the size used for guinea pigs, complete with water bottle and racing wheel. ;) One of the first things the breeder did was lift up a "habitat igloo" so we could see a female with her little spiny baby. Both were in ball form, and the baby was about the size of a plum. That was really cute. :D

The breeding male was a chubby little thing, and very nervous. He immediately formed a very round chittering ball, and it took some 15 minutes before we even saw a nose. It was hard to tell where his head was, at first! He hadn't been handled much, and will need some socializing. His spines were the typical alternating gray/brown, like Brother Hedgie above, and his nose was black (snout too). Apparently these are called "pintos," which was a surprise—I was expecting something unattractive with splotches.

Hedgie ball picture

This other color I'm not familiar with. It's a sort of cream color (they're called "apricot" hedgehogs). There were two of these, the first named Vanilla Bean, who is the breeding female. She was very active, and it was hard to keep her from crawling off the edge of the blanket into nowhere!

Vanilla Bean hedgie

The second is Snuffleupagus, who loves to explore everything with his nose. We got our fingers snorfled (but never nibbled or bitten) by this one quite a lot.

Snuffleupagus picture

Christopher of course immediately wanted a hedgehog of his own. By this time his father was back in the car because the shed kicked up an allergy, so there's very little chance of that happening. But still, it makes for a nice photo!

Christopher and Hedgehog

All in all, a wonderful visit. I wish now I'd take more photos—these were much blurrier than I expected, partly because two of the hedgehogs were really active and also because I turned off the flash to avoid scaring the hedgies.

And for your random pleasure, have some Internet photos:

This one's a Swedish hedgehog:

Swedish hedgehog

And here's a Hedgehog-Meets-Toy-Hedgie photo. Sadly, hedgehogs have terrible eyesight and identify things mostly by smell. So the hedgehog in this picture is probably thinking, "This blob smells like nothing."

Hedgie vs. Toy Hedgie

And lastly, this incredibly cute little guy, whom I made into an icon (which I so rarely do). Feel free to snag him:

Meadow hedgie

And, the blog of Numo, the world's now most famous hedgehog is here, for more cute pictures!

~*~

So what do you think? Ready to get one of your own now?


 
 
 
Entendre? Make mine a double.: moms like the sausagedeirdre_c on January 4th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Too, TOO cute!! What fun!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Aren't they, though? You can see why it took such a long time to put all this together-- there are a LOT of hedgies at our house. I was very busy with the camera and the scanner. ;)
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 4th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Hee-hee! Makes it all worthwhile, because this kind of post always takes a lot more work than I think it will. :D
Little Australian Bundle Of Delightful Joy: dog peekhuggenkiss on January 4th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
They are just GORGEOUS! I want one!

Oh, and welcome back! *hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
I want one!

I know-- I kind of want one of the real ones now. :D Though neither of us want any creatures in cages again, after the fiasco of the hamsties and losing 6 of them in two years (or, TWO so far as the kids know).

It's nice to be back in a general sense, though today is plagued by storms and power outages, so it's not what I'd hoped for. We were going to take the kids to see "Enchanted" and maybe go spend some bookstore and Starbucks gift-card money. But there's nothing like getting kicked out of a store or movie theater when the power goes and you were in the middle of something. :0
Little Australian Bundle Of Delightful Joy: dog peekhuggenkiss on January 7th, 2008 10:49 am (UTC)
So, so sorry for the late reply honey! I'm been incredibly slack with attending to my emails the last few days.

You lost 6 in two years? Yikes! I would love a hedgehog but I'm probably better to stick with dogs. I like cuddling up to them and petting them to sleep. If I tried to do that with a grown up hedgehog I might get a few splinters, methinks!

Did you end up seeing Enchanted?

The funniest story I've ever heard about a power outage in movie theatre was in '97 when my friend went to see the Titanic. They were 15 minutes from the end when the power went out. They all got free passes to see the movie again but my friend was so peeved at the whole thing. She had to watch the first few hours again before getting to see those last 15 minutes! Then it turns out that she didn't like it much anyway. :D
Princess Robot Bubblegum!babelmira on January 5th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
For some reason the hedgepig in front of the fire looks like he's stubbed his toe.

It's really weird seeing something gassed as vermin here being prized for pets.

Finally, Christopher looks really sweet.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
For some reason the hedgepig in front of the fire looks like he's stubbed his toe.
He's just basking in front of the toasty flames. In this story, he starts out aboveground balled up in the snow, so the fire is a nice change.

It's really weird seeing something gassed as vermin here being prized for pets.
! Double !! I thought they were considered fairly harmless-- just living off of bugs and worms and such. *covers ears* La-la-la-la-la-la...

Finally, Christopher looks really sweet.
He still IS sweet, but those younger pictures just kill me, looking back over them. I so miss his littler self.
Deadbeat Nymph: sam dean windowdeadbeat_nymph on January 5th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
While the hedgehogs are super cute and I loved reading about and seeing them and your adventure, my favourite part of this post was getting to put a face to the wonderful stories of your clever, charming boy. :D

And now, of course, I want an ice cream coloured hedgehog of my own.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
my favourite part of this post was getting to put a face to the wonderful stories of your clever, charming boy. :D
I have another picSpam for him that I started months ago, but got derailed before finishing. The picSpams take surprising amounts of work!

And the pictures do not begin to tell the incredible amount of random that goes with him. ;)

And now, of course, I want an ice cream coloured hedgehog of my own.
I really prefer the African Pygmy ones, with the classic two-tone spines and the little white faces with black noses. I checked Wikipedia, which has a bunch of pictures, and the hedgehogs native to India are scary and ugly-- like opossums that fell in oil. :0 I had no idea hedgehogs could be ugly.
wrldpossibility: snow angelwrldpossibility on January 5th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
They're all adorable, but the best part of this picspam/story is the background of Christopher's growing obsession and love for them! Very, very sweet. I love it when kids become passionate about something. They seem to do that with no reservations, unlike adults.

And you got the one Hedgie from Enchanted Forest! My kids love that place! (And Jan Brett!)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
but the best part of this picspam/story is the background of Christopher's growing obsession and love for them!
Who knew that would happen? His bedroom is decorated in bears, just because (his sister's was bunnies), but he found the animal he really liked on his own!

They seem to do that with no reservations, unlike adults.
Hedgehogs and trains were the biggies in his early years (up to age 6, before the influence of bratty kids at school got to him). That Molly Brett railroad photo actually combines two different loves. :)

And you got the one Hedgie from Enchanted Forest!
That was such a lucky and unexpected find. Christopher now says, "I can't believe no-one bought him. Why didn't they buy him-- he's so cute." And he totally misses the part where the OTHER hedgehogs were cute too, and we were lucky to find the one we did. But I think that's his loyalty to Hedgie talking. ;)

Our kids have outgrown The Enchanted Forest now, which is kind of sad for the parents. But we still have an impressive number of Jan Brett books, thanks to her wonderful illustrations. :D
Cody: Fangirlingmercurybard on January 5th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Those are all adorable. I don't think I've ever heard of people keeping hedgehogs as pets before.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
I think they're illegal as pets in California where I live (of course. Same with ferrets. Though I don't see hedgehogs escaping into the wild and running amok there).

But they're legal in Oregon, and there are breeder websites and all sorts of places. There's one little guy with a website devoted to pictures of him, and I found some photos on about.com. Take a look at this one-- "Mrs. Jengles" cracks me up in the top photo:
http://exoticpets.about.com/library/photogallery/blph_hedge12.htm
Cody: Happymercurybard on January 5th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Silly California declaring ferrets to be vermin. Though I guess all the ferrets I've ever known have been too lazy to run amok. The closest Mokona ever got to running amok was when she tried to crawl down the back of my boxers while I was sleeping. (She was also the weirdly pear-shaped ferret who was unaware of how big her butt was and would get stuck trying to wiggle behind furniture.)

And I liked the picture of the hedgie stampede!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
(She was also the weirdly pear-shaped ferret who was unaware of how big her butt was and would get stuck trying to wiggle behind furniture.)
Hahaha! Oh, the embarrassment!

Some friends had ferrets, that I think they had to smuggle/hide when they moved from Oregon to Alaska. When I visited them in Baltimore (yet another move), I discovered the major issue ferrets have with rubber. I had a rubber racquetball in my suitcase that I used to squeeze to keep up the strength in my left hand (a habit after recovering from a finger injury, since I found out the extra strength was beneficial for a vioinist!). Those little guys would attack the luggage again and again because they could smell the rubber. So I let them have the ball, and they'd open their mouths to bite it and the ball would keep rolling away from them. ;)
happybug on January 5th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
*FLAILS*
this has got to be the CUTEST post ever!
the second is that adorable bee blanket wrapped around Christopher.

p.s. your son is just as cute! i hope you don't get mad at me for saying this but in that picture you've posted, he sort of looks like Harry Potter. (......runs away)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
this has got to be the CUTEST post ever!
Cuteness is a powerful thing! Actually, Christopher says that Brother Hedgie has the power of Hearts, and Baby Hedgie has the power of... cute. So even he believes in it!

he sort of looks like Harry Potter. (......runs away)
It's the glasses-- those are basically Harry Potter glasses, and he likes both that fact and how they look on him. I'm still not used to seeing him with glasses all the time, and it hurts that he has to wear them now. Wahhhhh! I'd hoped neither child would get my bad eyesight. :(
happybug on January 5th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
"I'd hoped neither child would get my bad eyesight."
does your older one wear glasses?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 6th, 2008 07:49 am (UTC)
She doesn't-- still 20/20 vision at age 10.

Christopher still isn't as bad as I was, which is something to be thankful for. But he went from 20/100 at age 7 to 20/300 at age 8, which is a lot of change in one year. Though by age 8-plus-a-bit, I was 20/600, and I'd been nearsighted probably since being a toddler. So he's still not remotely that bad.

I used to fear I'd get to the point where my vision couldn't be corrected-- it kept getting worse over time, and who knows how bad it could get? But it stalled out around 8.75 diopters in both eyes, and that's still correctable. Thank goodness for contact lenses, and now LASIK!
Genevieve: henry pope by sezmsgenevieve on January 6th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
I've never wanted to pinch my computer screen's cheeks before, but I guess there's a first time for everything.

Cutest pic spam ever. I'm with your son - I adore hedgehogs, but as we don't have them down in Australia, I am doomed to live vicariously through others. *g* Have you seen the toy ones at IKEA? I bought my baby niece one from there for Christmas - it was a mummy and baby one together. Beyond cute.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 6th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I've never wanted to pinch my computer screen's cheeks before, but I guess there's a first time for everything.
Haha!

but as we don't have them down in Australia, I am doomed to live vicariously through others. *g*
I did pay a visit to Wikipedia to see the different varieties of them (where I discovered that the two Indian varieties are ugly and scary-looking), and it mentioned that Australia doesn't have them (not the U.S. either, sadly), and that they're a nuisance pest in parts of Scotland. *cries*

Have you seen the toy ones at IKEA?
Thanks to Google, I found a pictures of one of them (with a real hedgehog)-- very cute! There's also a really frightening inflatable hedgehog cusion, which is very wide and flat. :0

Love your icon. Oh Pope, how I miss you!
Genevieve: good grammar by jackshoegazermsgenevieve on January 7th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks to Google, I found a pictures of one of them (with a real hedgehog)-- very cute!

Extremely cute and very soft and fluffy. Let's just say that my niece almost got a different present. *g*

Oh, and Henry Pope is indeed made of awesome. Bad Blood is one of my favourite S2 episodes, and it's all because of him.

Edited at 2008-01-07 01:18 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Let's just say that my niece almost got a different present. *g*
:D I totally understand that issue. I have a serious problem with toy penguins, myself, and even bought one at an after Christmas sale! Still wondering what I'm going to do with it now. :0

One of my favorite toys as a child was my giant stuffed kangaroo, who had a Roo in her pouch (as all kangaroos should). My sister and I agree, though-- the Roo should always be detachable, and a fully kangaroo on its own (and not some head-lump of a thing). :0

Edited at 2008-01-10 03:21 am (UTC)
Not Quite by Firelight: Dean!totallytahirire on April 22nd, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
AWW! I love the pinecone hedgie stampede! And actually ... I forgot about it until just now, but I totally had a stuffed hedgie as a kid. I think his name was Herbie. :-)

My hedgie's name is Lucie, I (rescued) adopted her from a little girl, so by the time I got her she was already grumpy. So, I take care of her and stay out of her space, and she repays me by not biting the crap out of me every 2 seconds. :-)

She's still super cute.

And yeah, she totally has Dean hair. :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 24th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
but I totally had a stuffed hedgie as a kid.
They're kind of irresistible, aren't they? So cute. Those pointy little noses!

My hedgie's name is Lucie, I (rescued) adopted her from a little girl, so by the time I got her she was already grumpy. So, I take care of her and stay out of her space, and she repays me by not biting the crap out of me every 2 seconds. :-)
The breeder we saw mentioned that if they're not handled enough, they get shy of it. So they have to be coaxed into it over time. AND... no matter how much they seem to be flirting with those little forehead spines, they really don't want you to touch them. Which is half the attraction, I swear!

If only they weren't so cute. ;)