Thursday 4th May 2006

Things are really not going well. Squirrel and I went to the prison for midday and waited for hedgehog by the front gate. We sat there feeling nervous and excited until about 2.30pm and then started getting really fidgety and anxious. 3pm came and went and there was no sign of hedgehog. By 4pm I was starting to wonder what was going on so I went and rang the bell and spoke to one of the weasels. Because squirrel was with me he was really nice and said he was awfully sorry but hedgehog had been released at 10am that morning and had ambled away immediately. I asked whether the guard knew whether he had received my letter and he went off to ask one of his colleagues. When he came back he had the unopened letter in his hand. Apparently it had been given to hedgehog but he had left it behind in his cell. Squirrel and I didn’t know what to do next and then the guard, still being really helpful, suggested I could try tracking him after all he can’t walk as fast as me so I should be able to catch him up quite easily. The first problem I had was that I didn’t have anything with his scent on to try and follow and the second problem was that whilst trying tracking as a game when out walking is one thing having to do it for real is quite another. The guard went to see if they still had anything belonging to hedgehog and then said the best bet was that I could go and sniff his old cell as it hadn’t been cleaned yet. So I left squirrel at the gates and went into the prison for one last time. This time I was taken past the interview room and into the main prison itself. Having the door locked behind me was a very scary feeling and I really wasn’t at all happy about it. I had a good sniff round hedgehog’s cell and was happy that I had really got his scent before going back out to squirrel and freedom. Then the hard work really began. I found the path that hedgehog had taken but it wasn’t long before he had left the path and gone off into the undergrowth and so it was a slow and laborious process to work our way through the wood in a direction that was exactly the opposite of home. As we hadn’t started until about 6pm it was getting dark and we were tired, so we carefully marked the spot we had got to and went home for the night. I am calling for squirrel again this morning so that we can go and try and continue our work. I didn’t sleep very well so I don’t feel very refreshed for my important job. If we aren’t careful the scent will have gone before we find him.