Sunday 19th March 2006

I set off for the wood yesterday morning to go and see hedgehog. It was a bit scary walking through the trees to try and get to the centre. As they got closer together it got darker and darker and was really very scary for a small puppy. I told squirrel where I was going and she was really very concerned about me and tried to persuade me not to go. When I got to the prison the weasels were guarding it and stopped me at the gates to see if I had the right paperwork. I got out my pass signed by police badger and they escorted me inside to a little room with a few tables in it. The way they locked the doors after me I started to feel quite nervous, as though it was me that had done something wrong. I started to realise I had no idea what I was actually going to say to hedgehog now I was here. He was ushered in by one of the weasels and came and sat at the table opposite me “Hello, er, er.” I stammered. “Hello young Alfie” said hedgehog “How good of you to come all this way to see me. I haven’t had any visitors since I was brought here in October.” So I found myself starting to tell him how I had heard about him when he tried to escape and how squirrel said he had done something called money laundering and how I couldn’t understand how that was bad and then I found myself telling him all about squirrel and how lovely she was and then eventually I stopped. Hedgehog smiled at me and said how much he had enjoyed me seeing him and asked if I would go and see him again sometime and before I knew what I was saying I said I would love to. I was right; hedgehog is much too nice to be in prison, I really don’t understand why they think he is bad. As I walked back through the forest, it was so good to feel the breeze and the freedom of being outside. I have absolutely no idea why I said I would go back and visit him again.

I went to see squirrel and told her all about my visit to hedgehog and when I said I couldn’t understand what was wrong with washing some money squirrel laughed at me and said “Oh Alfie, money laundering isn’t about literally washing money.” Well how was I supposed to know? It turns out that it is all about taking money from other crimes like selling drugs or stealing and then making it impossible to work out what the original source of the money was so that the criminal can spend it safely. Hedgehog was found to have opened bank accounts all over the world in lots of different names and moved money that had been stolen from the Woodland Bank to a numbered account in Switzerland. So he didn’t leave his notes in his pocket when it went in the washing machine after all. I do wish sometimes that people would tell me what they mean rather than leaving me to misunderstand and making me look stupid. Now I have to decide whether or not to go and see him again.