Sunday, January 27, 2019

We Have a Hedgehog and His Name is Hamilton


"What do baby hedgehogs eat?" I hear Grace ask.

"I have no idea," I say.

She gives me a 13-year-old look. "I wasn't asking you, Mom. I was asking Siri."

Well, excuuuuuse me. 

Contrary to what many may believe about our life in Tanzania, we don't live in the Serengeti; we live in a city of six million people. But we do have a rather enormous backyard, and it has brought us an interesting variety of wildlife: Chickens (not really wildlife, but certainly wild), tortoises, kingfishers, monitor lizards, bats, snakes, and hedgehogs. I got over the novelty of hedgehogs a long time ago....those things are loud when they want to be--like when a dog is trying to kill it. After many, many evenings of frantic barking and wailing hedgehogs, we got used to finding the poor prickly creatures and chucking them over the fence, just to get everybody to shut up.

But then my children found a baby hedgehog, which, according to my children, is apparently an entirely different category of hedgehog which shouldn't be thrown over the fence but needs to be brought into the house and fed and named and snuggled (as much as a creature with spines can be snuggled). The children's father immediately went along with this idea as soon as Google told him that this type of hedgehog will cost you about $200 in the States. He's always up for a good deal. The children's mother was not consulted, because she is the family's stick-in-the-mud.

So there you have it: We now have added Hamilton Willow Leo Medina into our family, which is a very long name for something that weighs about five ounces. Hammie now has his own, homemade, elaborate cage complete with a hamster wheel, even though he is not a hamster and may not like wheels. In fact, he showed very little appreciation for the cage, because while we were eating dinner he got out of it and got lost in my bedroom, which meant that there were four children crawling around the floor with flashlights while Mom was hollering, "I don't want a hedgehog to die in my bedroom so no one gets to watch AFV until you find it!"

And of course, this is all very confusing to Snoopy, who as a Jack Russell was bred to search and destroy small moving creatures and has, until this point, been encouraged to do so. But no one seems to listen to me when I bring this up. Siri is smarter than me anyway, so what do I know?




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