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Experiment 10

Thinking About Hedgehogs

Thinking About Hedgehogs

I'm thinking that hedgehogs become gods.
But they're awkward things to contemplate;
People more frequently revere pig-dogs,
Opossums, hoarse roosters or elusive owls.
Yet hedgehogs are much friendlier than fowls.

Remember in the past the small soft-prickled
Horace and Harriet, two most charming snufflers
Who ran from the hedge, asthmatic, to be tickled;
And Oswald, found in Mrs. Biss's bed?
Now all that generation must be dead.

page 3

I searched for another Horace, to regain
The thrill of hunting along tangled ditches,
Of wandering by a tantalising drain,
Listening for the quite distinctive rustle
That Horace's family make, as they bustle.

But I was searching an unfamiliar land;
The time and season were right, but hedgehogs gone.
Not one on the overgrown hill-track as I planned
Came to my sight; and a mocking whistle
From insects in the grass follows me still.