Monday, November 11, 2013

Humans & Hedgehogs

I am now the bemused owner of a hedgehog.

He belonged to my manager and was the "clinic hedgehog." But the veterinarian life didn't suit him well, so he was replaced with two guinea pigs.

His name is Quigley. Cup your hands together and the little ball of prickles fits in there quite well.

Most of the time, he throws a fit when you pet him. He'll spaz, jerking and making a spluttering hiss -- "I'm a dangerous hedgy. Hear me roar." -- hilarious, but not very intimidating.

After five to fifteen minutes of being out of his cage and being handled, he'll uncurl and start sniffing. Exploring. Let you pet him without exploding into a mammalian version of a puffer fish.

He'll leave his fuzzy, spine-free legs, face, and underbelly exposed.

Over the short span of time I've had Quigley at my house, I've realized something: a lot of people are a lot like hedgehogs (and no, I refuse to digress into how John Watson is like a hedgehog and Sherlock Holmes is like an otter. Thanks for those amusing comparisons, Sherlockians.).

Many of us are--or can be--prickly. Not necessarily mean, or on the offense, but we curl inside of ourselves, protecting our soft underbellies and tender hearts with hisses and jerks whenever anyone touches us and tries to get through our defenses.

To my fellow hedgehogs: Uncurl and sniff around, guys. If you're like me, you're introverted or ambiverted, and thus have a definite people-tolerance and space bubble. That's cool. People are definitely tiring, even though they are also amazing. But don't be a ball of hissing prickles all the time. It's not very fulfilling. ;)

To those of you who have no idea what it's like to be a hedgehog or don't know what to do with a fellow hedgy: Be patient with us. I promise you that underneath our hissing and sometimes aloof nature, we think and feel and love and hate and geek out over things just as much as you do. And that, like you, we're pretty darn cool. Sometimes it just takes a while for us to be okay with letting you close enough to see it all. :)

Go pet a hedgehog. It's a very enlightening experience.


  1. *grin* Neat post, Hannah! I like how you pulled an analogy for humans out of your hedgehog experience; it was very apt! :) Isn't it neat how God gives us analogies in everything if we're just willing to look for them?

    1. Thanks, Bluebell!
      Yes it is. My mind is going nuts with various veterinarian-medicine related analogies. Some sound really weird, but....true.

  2. Aw. He's cute. And his name makes me think of Quinn. (But of course.)

  3. Oh, this is exactly what I needed to read today. I'm one of those ones that doesn't understand said dear hedgehogs most of the time, but am kind of wishing I could just curl into a ball like they do. This is so encouraging and very true.
    To learning patience! And hedgehogs everywhere :)

    1. Aw, I'm glad you found it at the right time and that it has encouraged you! :)


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