The hedgehog’s dilemma

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 22.37.52(Photo from The Guardian by David Jones/PA)

We have been feeding and watering our visiting hedgehog since early spring. At first he ate from an open plate, but we became worried that he was having to share with cats/magpies/ foxes. The advice on Springwatch was to put the food into a piece of drainpipe. Lacking a drainpipe we used a deep plastic plant pot. DSCN8144He took to this without hesitation, and if we timed it right, by shining a torch through the back door, we could spot his rear end. In late spring there was a lot of snuffling and grunting and Mrs Hedgehog appeared. They cavorted for a few days, and you could go up and shine a torch on them and they just continued running round after each other. She vanished and we were back to Mr on his ownsome.

Then, a few weeks ago, we started to notice that the pot kept walking in the night. We were also curious that half the food would go between 9.30 and 10.30, but the rest disappeared overnight. Suddenly we have two hedgehogs, we have seen them both several times, we don’t know if this is Mrs or son/daughter or hopeful passerby BUT Hedgehog 2 has a problem. He/she is either short of marbles or has claustrophobia, because H2 will only eat from the back of the pot. DSCN8145 To achieve this H2 has to bump the back of the pot until the food falls through the holes in the back of the pot. On wet nights, we put the pot under the back door porch. If I stay up late, there is a continuous knocking sound and this little fellow bumps the rear of the pot, eats the few fragments that fall through and bumps again. If only H2 would walk round the pot, he/she would see that he was knocking the food to the front open edge, but H2 endlessly circles the rear of the pot and NEVER goes to the front. I have tried to photograph this, but  apart from being collapsed with laughter, I cannot make the camera play.

And no, I can’t sex hedgehogs, it’s deduction.