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red river hog
So I'm in the middle of assembling the Attention post, and suddenly I am seized with the desire to tell you about my hedgehog. This is probably not entirely coincidental.

Back in middle school somewhere, we acquired an African pygmy hedgehog. He came from a friend of a friend who was raising emus and had gotten hedgehogs as company for them, then discovered that either emus don't like hedgehogs or hedgehogs don't like emus (or something along those lines; I wasn't ever really clear on the hedgehog's precise origin). We did a little cursory research to determine things like what hedgehogs eat (Iams cat food) and when they are active (night) and took him on.

We had a variety of ideas about what to name him, so he wound up being called Eric(from the Monty Python sketch)-Erin(first four letters of the genus name of what is, upon checking wikipedia just now, entirely the wrong genus of hedgehog, but we didn't know that at the time)!(pronounced more or less as in "!Kung"; a suggestion from our visiting grandmother)Ouch(I forget where that came from).

Our research had indicated that African pygmy hedgehogs made perfectly good, if somewhat shy, pets. Our research was wrong. Eric was a cranky little bugger. When we got him, he had mange, which can't have helped his disposition. But we got that cleared up eventually, and he didn't improve at all. Eric-Erin!Ouch was made of prickles and spite. He had evil little vampire fangs, with which he could (and did) bite through gardening gloves. His favorite activity was gnawing the carpet while emitting copious quantities of foamy drool, then rubbing it into his skin. If disturbed, approached, or thought about, he made a noise something like a rattlesnake and something like a pot boiling over, raised all his prickles into sea-urchin-attack-mode, and shook threateningly at the nearest large object.

We never really bonded with him.

Eventually, Eric-Erin!Ouch went to live with my sibling's science teacher, who had a female hedgehog named Miss Moneypenny. Eric was renamed Q, and he and Miss Moneypenny lived happily under the carpet in their very own room.

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*grin* This is a lovely story. I could see it as a picture book... My eight year old would love it.

I could work on it, but I see little opportunity to make use of my intestines brush in Illustrator. Unless I took some "creative liberties" with the story…

Hopping Vampire Hedgehog.

Oh dear.

:) Aww. He sounds adorable. Ok, with issues, but I think hedgehogs are oddly plasticy yet cute. Of course, the only time I have actually seen one face-to-face was at a petting zoo... and if they're all like this, it was probably drugged.

He sounds adorable.

Wow, really? I haven't described him very well, then. Did I mention the glaring, beady eyes? The constant scowl? The biting? The dandruff?

I doubt they're all like that, or nobody would have tried to pass them off as pets in the first place. I've seen photos of what looked like perfectly happy, relaxed, sociable hedgehogs, so I figure it can happen. But they probably need to be socialized at a much younger age.

It could just be me. I mean, I think bats are cute - the fur, the little fangs... if it's small and in some way vicious, I tend to start with the baby talk. (I had a friend tell me that if I ever had a child, they'd have to wrap it in fur until I accepted it as my own. I didn't quite get the "why I'd want to have a child" part.)
So the eyes and the shaking and the pot noise and the biting... still up there on the woodgie-woodgie-woo scale. The dandruff and drooling may have given me pause in person, I admit.

But bats are just objectively cute! Not vicious, though.

Eric was cute when he wasn't being hostile, or at least when he was being hostile at someone else. But it's hard to adore something that's obviously wishing you'd fuck off and die.

I had a friend tell me that if I ever had a child, they'd have to wrap it in fur until I accepted it as my own.

Heh. :) I never understood neoteny as a source of cute. Pointy furry faces are much better.

Ouch would seem self-evident from the prickles.

And yeah, a hedgie raised within the right space is going to be mellow on average. Yours was either poorly socialized or it never took.

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