11 Feb

My Hedgehog Story- Circa 1984

Thanks to Ijeoma and Ebun who inspired this post!

What would I do without my friends? There are parts of my life that I’ve completely forgotten about like the fact that I wrote short stories at school. I remember when dad told me he would publish my stories, I was ecstatic, oh the thought of seeing my name in print! Which by the way is the reason we sell personalised children’s everything from artwork to bibs, toy boxes and beds all with your child’s name on it at PP. Ahem! I gave dad my first story in no time, he explained that having four words per line would look really, really short when it was typed up. The fact that I filled two A4 pages made no difference with my giant handwriting.

Anyway, my favourite author as a child was Enid Blyton. This was before I moved on to Pacesetters and Mills & Boon. I am pretty confident that I read every Enid Blyton book ever printed. It was like disappearing into a world only imaginable. It was there that I learned about pixies and goblins, animals that made sensible, well thought out decisions and toys that conversed. And weird creatures like hedgehogs. I believed Enid Blyton’s definition of world only existed in the western world, in other words, in oyiboland. The knowledge caused me to implore my toys to talk to me- the rule was that toys didn’t speak when humans were present. I begged them to let me into their inner circle as I wouldn’t tell. And you can stop laughing because if I had the know-how to send my idea to Hollywood, I’ll be laughing at the upcoming release of Toy Story  3. I digress, sorry. So when friends in boarding house discovered this strange animal with spikes all over, I was over the moon! I explained that it was a hedgehog and they lived in the “woods”, a vicinity only present in the west. We don’t call it woods in Africa, it’s simply the bush. And in case you didn’t know, it isn’t called the jungle either, it’s the forest.

The hedgehog was a baby one so it was easy to carry; its spikes were still soft. I spoke to it and told it not to worry as we’ll be going home the following day. I couldn’t wait to break the awesome news to my younger brother, we shared the same fascination. Thankfully it was the end of term. I was excited for more reasons than one. Mum’s cooking, freedom from prison jail school, access to TV, wearing anything other than our tired green uniforms.

I don’t remember if the hedgehog ate; I think I dug up some worms for it as I was convinced whatever it lived on in the “woods” would not be available to me. There was no Google to check- it was 198something ya’ll! That night I locked him up in my wardrobe and went to sleep. Imagine my horror when I awoke in the morning to find him floating face down in my bucket of water! So “we” mourned him and I insisted “we” have a memorial for him by bathing with the “water of death” sorry guys! You know who you are!

Thank you so much for reading and getting (yet another) glimpse into my childhood 🙂