On Hedgehogs

Nothing really to do with Suffolk, I fear, but I wanted to share this very cute video I found on the Discarding Images facebook page on the nature of the hedgehog.  There are hedgehogs in Suffolk – my lovely cat, Simon, used to catch them (sigh, along with rabbits, a pheasant, and once a hare, believe it or not), so I’d find the prickly remains…  But ANYWAY this is very, very lovely!

This comes from Pliny the Elder, originally, with the grapes coming in with Isidore of Selville:

To prepare for winter, hedgehogs roll on fallen apples to stick them to their spines, then taking one or more in their mouths, carry the load to hollow trees. Hedgehogs foretell a change in wind direction from north to south when they retire to their lairs. When hunted, they roll up into a ball so that it is not possible to pick them up without touching their spines. (Pliny, Natural History, Book 8, 56)

The hedgehog is covered with quills, which it stiffens when threatened, and rolling itself into a ball is thus protected on all sides. After it cuts a bunch of grapes off a vine it rolls over them so it can carry the grapes to its young on its quills. (Isidore, Etymologies, Book 12, 3:7)

With thanks to bestiary.ca for the info.

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