Just as I was about to put Winnie back in her overnight carrier, my husband shouted from the back of the house. Clutching Winnie to my chest, I dashed out to see what was the matter. I found my husband on the patio with big smile on his face. “Look in the Omlet!” he said pointing. I peered around the side of the kitchen to see a huddled lump against the Glug drinker. It moved slightly and made some loud snuffling sounds. It took me a few seconds to work out what it was, but then a memory from several years ago flashed through my mind. Another evening the garden had a spiky visitor who made the same noises and polished off a bowl of cat food before bumbling off down the garden. I edged closer and my husband turned on a torch.
There it was. An enormous hedgehog! I have never seen one so big! Quietly, I deposited Winnie inside and prepared some cat food for our garden gatecrasher. We put it down in front of him and he quickly began to make short work of it. He didn’t seem interested in the water bowl or the ludicrously brave snail who sauntered past the hedgehog seemingly without a care in the world. After eating his fill, he walked right past me and nestled into a fold in the tarpaulin over Coco’s coop. I couldn’t believe it!
But how had it gotten into the garden? Our garden has two fences and a wall. The little hedgehog door we used to have in the fence has been blocked off by the tenants next door due to their dog. We hunted around and decided the only place the hedgehog could have got in was by literally pushing through the gap in the back gate. Gatecrasher indeed!
Hedgehogs often have regular little routes so we will be on full hedgehog watch the next few nights!