Well, have you ever googled “baby hedgehog”? Stop right now and take a moment. They are ridiculously adorable!
According to Wikipedia, there are 17 species of the spiny, nocturnal mammal found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. They like to eat bugs and frequently get their heads stuck in small round spaces. In 2006, McDonald’s changed the design of their McFlurry containers to be more hedgehog-friendly, because hedgehogs would get their heads stuck trying to lick the tasty remnants. Crazy Brits made “hedgehog-flavoured” potato chips in the 80s. Did not contain actual hedgehog.
But aside from their obvious cuteness, hedghogs have a special meaning for me. When the Old Man and I got hitched way back in 2008, we eloped to Italy. Sigh. The farmhouse where we stayed was magical; they made their own wine and olive oil and the restaurant up the road was my first experience with truffles. Their mascot was the industrious hedgehog, and there were hedgehog icons, reliefs in the walls and floor, little hedgehog carvings & statues. The place was practically crawling with them. No live hedgehogs. Ever since, I can’t resist collecting a little hedgehog here and there to remind us of that really lovely experience. It’s not like I’m ever going to actually want to OWN a living hedgehog. The closest genetic relative is the shrew. So they’re just rodents with spikes, really. But cute cuddly rodents. This collection of lovely Etsy prints are more my speed.