30
Mar 05

THE FT TOP 25 ANIMALS – 9. Hedgehogs

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I never really understood the porcine reference in the name as the little beasts have much more of the rodent about them than the darling/delicious pig (and indeed they are closely related to the mole and the shrew – but not the same as porcupines, alright?). That said, hedgehogs did experience their own dalliance with the culinary world courtesy of this legendary 80s meme
– alas (sorry, I mean, fortunately) said chips were flavoured of nothing more than pork fat. Still I can think of a few out there who probably harbour secret desires to sample the spiky variant, though they’d have to catch them first.

I never believed that hedgehogs were actually as fast as the pixelated wry blue show-off of gamelore but do recall an incident a few years back when staring out at the night sky from my back door one night I heard a rustling in the bushes and a dark blur racing out from the vegetation at an alarming pace, pursued by the neighbour’s cat (not Knuckles). Also impressive is their general noisiness as they forage around your garden (fortunately this does not extend to making a fox-esque cacophony at 3am) and their alleged ‘invulnerability’ when curled up into a ball, pointy bits out – though not quite tough enough for the deadliest predator of them all, SUV MAN. Hedgehog entrails spilled out all over the road in front of your house is not a pretty sight, so if they are to continue trying to cross busy roads at night I would not be adverse to powdering their diet of insects with crushed up steroids, just to boost their chances of making it from one kerb to the other in time. But it’s probably illegal. In the meantime we can only stand back and simultaneously deplore and admire their human-like willingness to dice with death in this way. Erm, hooray?

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