Sunday 26th March 2006

Well I decided I would go and see hedgehog yesterday as there was nothing more exciting to do whilst I waited to go to the shops. I got there a little more easily this time and the weasels greeted me a bit more warmly. Hedgehog was in fine form, he was quite encouraged by the fact that I had bothered to go back and started telling me a bit about himself. He was born in a wood a little way away from here but as so often happens his dad left when he was very young and his mum was trying to bring him up on her own. Then when he was only tiny his mum was killed in a hit and run accident and he was left orphaned. He was very fortunate to be adopted by a childless couple of hedgehogs quite near here. They were much older and whilst they gave him a good home and a lot of love they both died while he was a teenager and he decided he would just have to make it on his own. Well one thing led to another and before he knew it he had fallen in with a bad set and was stealing small items to get some money and food where he could find it. He was in the Wayward Hedgehog centre on and off and met up with more experienced criminals who taught him a thing or two. In the end after his first spell in the Woodland Prison he decided that crime was a mug’s game and planned one last job before moving on to start a new life. Robbing the Woodland Bank had gone to plan. He wasn’t actually the one doing the robbery but he then used some of his contacts to make some investments, which were then sold, and the money deposited in Switzerland, I hope they don’t think my trip is anything to do with it. He was arrested when he was packing his few meagre possessions into a little knotted handkerchief and about to set off for a life in the sun. “Alfie” he said “one thing I have realised in here is that you can try to run away from your troubles but you can never run away from yourself. At the end of the day money isn’t going to make me happy. It will never be a substitute for the family I haven’t got. When they let me out of here in May I am going to stay in the forest and try and put right some of the harm I have done over the years.” So I found myself saying if I managed to build it, he could live in my den. Then we spent the rest of the visit starting to plan my den properly and adding a little bit to my original ideas that will be ‘hedgehog’s wing’ with a little bedroom and sitting room of his own. I do hope squirrel will understand. I am going to ask her if she will come with me to visit him next week.