• Tiggywinkle

    Something that you  may not know.

    The scent of a hedgehog is very similar to that of a human.

    As an ex dog handler this was useful when the dog would indicate that there was an intruder on your patrol area, and despite extensive searching, no sign.

    There you go, a bit of useful information to store away somewhere.

    Last night was the usual escapades, wait until Mike was dozing off then go crazy and disappear off into the darkness. (Ellie has learned to climb the wall!)

    The reaction that I am getting from my beasts, is that there is someone wandering around the property. Highly possible, there is a lot of activity going on around the place with the combine harvesters, various trucks and some cars parked up on the side of the road.

    I go out with Jeb....Ellie is left in the (grandly named) Courtyard. Five minutes into the wander around the grounds and we come across the Tiggywinkle.

    Now, I'm not sure if this is Mr Tiggywinkle or the Mrs. But, It's a sizeable beast, quite impressive.  I'm happy enough to have such a critter wandering my land, it is going to be dealing with the snails and slugs (and also explains the large number of empty snail shells around the place), I just need to work out where in fact it is actually living.

    Tiggywinkles, or to give them their latin name Spinicus Pigsicle are useful additions and, actually has just reminded me of a tale from way back in my youth.

    I'd been taken to see a 'great aunt' at some stage of my short trousered youth. Possibly, she was someone who had worked at the home and had retired, but she was now living in a quaint little Alms house in a decent area of Birmingham (UK) which, at the time, bordered on farmland.

    I was playing on the grass while the grown ups drank tea and talked about things past, what a nice little boy I had turned out to be and stuff like that.

    While I was wandering around the grounds one of the other residents came up and told me of a dead hedge pig and would I like to see it?

    Having no idea what a hedge pig was I enquired as to its description so that I would know when I found it's carcass in the hedge (of all places).

    Small, with spiney plates on its back.

    For whatever reason the description I was given had me envisioning a tiny Stegasaurus.

    Even at that tender age, I knew that dinosaurs had died out millions of years ago. So, to find a tiny stegosaurus, even if it was dead, would be the find of the century.

    I'd be famous, my parents would find out about me and come and find me!

    My mind was ticking over... we thought the dinosaurs were all dead! But, in fact, they were still alive, just tiny, this is why we never see them!

    I searched for what seemed like hours looking for that Stegosaurus.

    All I ever found was a dead hedgehog.
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