This is a Christmas sort of blog post featuring hedgehogs, cats and dogs and this beautiful bird picture which Chloe Coggin painted for me last Christmas.
Sad news on the hedgehog front though. The other week on one of those icy sub zero mornings (reminiscent of Antarctica - see later)(Not that I've ever been there.)I found a little hedgehog lying on the track. I picked it up intending to bury it and thought it had only just died as it hadn't stiffened up. It lay perfectly still but when I blew on it I could see tiny movement. I took it inside and rang the Hedgehog Preservation Society when they opened and they advised a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel in a box with some straw. They said it would have to be over 500grams to be able to hibernate and this little chap when I weighed him on my new digital scales (thank you Elinor -a present clearly useful not just for weighing sugar and flour.) was only 300g. He was very soft, his spines were like fur but when he began to warm up they hardened. I kept him warm all day and changed his hottie when it got cool. I went down at 2 in the morning to change it again but he had died. I think he was the same hedgehog I'd picked up on the track in the Autumn. He was very busy then and had no intention of hibernating. I guess he knew he only weighed 300 grams.
I'm still writing about a Cat myself and hope it'll be finished in the New Year -all news about it then. But I have just finished reading Mrs Chippy's Last Expedition by Caroline Alexander about the cat on Shackleton's boat The Endeavour which got frozen in the ice in Antarctica. What a lovely book - and beautifully written (see Tom Waits further down the page)I had forgotten what happened though. So moved by the little chap - even though it was over a hundred years ago I'm considering changing Pocket's name to Mrs Chippy. They look very similar in the photograph - I don't think Pocket will care too much - even like Mrs Chippy - being a boy.
Pocket quite confidence in his sex.
Pixie's very last interesting fact for 2017 is that Christmas Day is on Monday.
Hope is the thing with feathers
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.