The Secret Hedgehogs

For quite some moons, the Ashdown home had quite the strange smell. It was not a wholly unpleasant smell, but it was one that was hard to ignore. It was to little surprise that culprits were a new family of hedgehogs Arindiis had invited to live behind a cupboard. 

The hedgehog parents were shy and kept away, but the three young hoglets were happily adventurous and would often roam the room and welcome attention. 

Arindiis was, of course, very fond of the hoglets. One late night, the three came to her with an important message. "We are leaving home to find out own food out of doors," they said, and Arindiis felt a sudden ache of sadness. She sat with them and stroked their hard quills and sang them sweet songs like she had done many evenings before. She told them, "You will always be fed and warmed here, if you need it." 

Farewells is not something our hedgehog friends are familiar with, and so it was not because of rudeness that they then left without further exchanges.  Arindiis watched the young hedgehogs slowly make their way into the night and prayed no fox or hound would ever get to their gentle bellies. 

And happily indeed, they have visited since.