Friday 14th April 2006

Well I had chance to put in place my search for hedgehog’s impostor cousin yesterday. We all went for a walk in the wood I had left marked. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to get any information about him. I tried a bit of tracking when I first arrived but only turned up a few acorns and some beer cans. Then I concluded I would have to find a way to talk to a few animals but without saying I was a friend of the criminal hedgehog and I needed them to do him a favour. I started with some moles I came across. I worked on the basis that there was more likely to be a kindred spirit amongst the criminal fraternity and all the other moles I knew were part of organised guerrilla forces. My plan would have been more effective if it hadn’t turned out that they didn’t actually know any hedgehogs in person, so to speak. I ran in to another red squirrel so I tried a different approach and said I knew Squirrel and were they related. Unfortunately the one I approached was rather shy and ran off into the trees making it impossible for me to follow. Eventually I found a deer and tried a rather less direct method. I simply introduced myself and started chatting as you do and said how nice it was round there and how like our wood it was. The deer immediately said he knew the area I was from and occasionally went over that way. I was about to try and find out if he knew of hedgehog when he said completely without prompting that he had heard that the fraudster hedgehog was due for release soon and I should watch what I left lying around. ‘Oh’ I said ‘Is he very bad?’ ‘Well’ said the deer ‘I have heard he stole an awful lot of things from an awful lot of animals. There is a plot going on amongst some of the animals to recover some of what they lost. That’s all I will say.’ At which point I said I heard he had had a letter from a distant cousin and asked if that had something to do with it. The deer laughed ‘Oh yes’ he said ‘it wasn’t from a hedgehog at all, it was one of our woodland mice in disguise in the photograph they sent him. I have to say in costume he didn’t look too bad.’ We chatted away for a while and laughed about the clever plan before I said I had better go and find my mistress before she went without me. Now all I need to do is work out how I break the news to hedgehog and let him down gently, he was so excited about the idea he might really have a cousin.