Sunday 23rd April 2006

Oh diary what a day it was yesterday. Firstly hedgehog was in fine spirits. He is as excited as I am about the den project and really feels that this will give him the boost he needs to stay on the straight and narrow. He is so looking forward to a week on Wednesday when he can finally leave his prison cell behind. We talked about all the things he would need ready for his departure and I arranged to get them together and meet him but the prison gates when he is released. I haven’t told my mistress but there is a pile of leaves in the corner of our garden that I have said he can stay in until the den is built. He will be ok there. It isn’t the height of luxury but I can nip down and see him several times a day and I can take some food down to him until he gets himself sorted out. We talked about the Forest Council meeting and he wondered if when it comes to the next elections he could have got to the point where the animals trust him enough to vote for him. It is one thing deciding to be a reformed hedgehog but it is a nothing thing convincing the other woodland animals that he has really turned his back on a life of crime. I didn’t tell him that I was going for a picnic with squirrel straight afterwards, I didn’t want him to feel upset that he couldn’t come too.

It was a beautiful sunny day by the time I came out of the front gates and the sun on my face felt so exciting and reminded me how precious my freedom is. I skipped down the lane to meet squirrel and pick up the hamper and we went off into the farthest end of the woods away from all the hubbub of everyday life and people we know. There is a little stream with grassy banks where my mistress brings me once in a while and where you never see another person. So we set our hamper down and stretched out in the sun. It was glorious and we talked and laughed and played. We almost forgot to eat our food but I really didn’t want to have to carry it home again. I had borrowed some plastic plates that belong to my mistress which squirrel thought were really funny. Animals don’t normally use plates so we had some difficulty balancing them in our paws whilst we ate but it was fun trying. I had actually borrowed the picnic hamper and it had lots of things we didn’t know what they were for. There are two little matching containers with an ‘s’ and a ‘p’ on. Each of them contained different powder, we sniffed it a bit but the ‘p’ one kept making me sneeze. There was a sort of metal screw on a wooden end which I stuck in a piece of wood for squirrel to sit on. It was just the best time ever. I can’t wait to do it again.