Cleo (my hedgehog) and I have been hanging out in my office together for months. I hedgehog-proofed the room to make sure she stayed nice and safe (and findable!). She trundles around in the evenings while I read. Usually, it works.
But last night, Cleo outsmarted me. I left the room for a drink (okay, chardonnay. Because what’s better late at night than a good book, a glass of wine, and a hedgie for company?).
But when I returned she was gone. I admit: I giggled a little. It’s a little fun to play hide and seek with a hedgie. We’ve done this before.
But after ten minutes of cursory looking, she was nowhere to be found.
I began to worry. Had I left the office door open by accident? Did she get out?
At this point, the search began to turn frantic.
I turned the whole house inside out. Under beds and sofas, side tables, chairs, towels, shelves, closets… No hedgehog.
When I was done checking everywhere, I checked again. And again.
Full-out panic had set in.
My husband got home from work at midnight, and he started to look too. At this point it was after one AM.
So…I decided I had to think like a hedgehog. I turned off all the lights and sat very quietly on my office chair in the dark. I sat for twenty minutes in the dark, listening to every little sound, exhausted.
Then—miracle of miracles—I heard something! She was so close I could hear the sound of her smacking her lips (which is pretty much the cutest sound ever).
I jumped up and turned on my flashlight.
Lights off again.
Twenty minutes later, I heard her scratching on something. Maybe biting.
Still no hedgehog.
At this point, I’m starting to think she’s caught in some parallel universe because she’s nowhere to be found in mine.
I turned off the lights again.
This time, I decided to sit on the floor, next to my chair instead of on it.
Another twenty minutes passed. And then I finally heard her right next to my ear!
Once I took the chair apart, Cleo blinked up at me with this look on her face like “Thank God!” She ran over to me and I picked her up and we cuddled for a while.
My poor girl! She’ll get a few extra meal worms for a snack tonight!
Love and thanks for being here,
Lisa Van Allen
The Wishing Thread, September 2013