Hedgehog Survival or At Least Not Tonight

When I went to Nyon to see the comedy musical, “The Producers”, I had no idea what time it would finish. Nor did I know how wonderful the performance would be!

I really had a great time ;-D

But it was close to midnight when I left the theater and all my landmarks had disappeared into the obscurity. This was the first time I’d come to Nyon, driving back was going to be an exploit.

Ok, time to REALLY pay attention to the signs along the way. I followed all the Divonne turnoffs, but the road I was on was unfamiliar. I knew this wasn’t the way I’d come. There were far too many roundabouts. Yet, it felt like I was …I jammed my foot down on the brakes!

The road was dark. I wasn’t sure, yet…I put on my warning lights and backed up slowly.

I wasn’t sure I’d seen…if I’d seen…but, if I had seen something…oh, I was afraid…if it had moved …

There was no squishy feeling beneath my tires. I backed up a little further and there in the glare of my headlights sat a multicolored brown oval. A hedgehog! Though, my mind translated what I was seeing as being a porcupine. I’d never seen either up close.

This one nearly …Ugh, I didn’t want to envision the thought.

And then, I WAS envisioning it!
Not mine, but another car’s doing.

In the distance, I saw other cars approaching. I rolled down my window. But I couldn’t see it. I opened my door, not knowing exactly what I’d say but knowing I wanted to save this frightened little creature.

“Upla, shoo! Hurry up! You know you need to get out of the road. Upla!”

He stirred but ran only a bit further before curling up into a ball almost outside of my headlight’s range. I turned off my lights. Somewhere I’d read that bright lights literally petrify wild animals. I was about to honk when I thought: “No, that’d probably give it a heart attack.”

I drove up alongside it and pushed it with an empty spray bottle that happened to be in the door pocket. He curled up tighter. My heart wrenched as an impatient driver swished by us, his wheels barely missing the helpless ball.

I guess it imagined if it played dead, it would not be hurt. All I could see was that if it stayed in the road, its death was imminent.

Suddenly, I was out of my car. With only the empty plastic bottle between us, I gently pushed the frightened hedgehog towards the side of the road. Two pushes and then he resisted and the nozzle of the bottle broke off.

Meanwhile, I’d left my car’s door wide open.

The next car approached and tried to double mine but couldn’t. I was grateful because I hadn’t realized that in the night’s obscurity I’d placed my chocolate-skinned self in danger to save this small creature. I rushed back to my car, grabbed two cardboard parking discs, slammed the door shut and returned to the hedgehog.  The second car advanced. I could feel angry eyes watching me. Then, suddenly, as if its driver finally realized what I was going on about, the second car slowed then came to a stop with its lights directed  towards me. I waved thanks to the driver.

As I turned the small ball over several times, I realized I didn’t know its head from its tail. I fought a rising envy to just pick it up. That’s when I recall thinking it was a porcupine, that it might stick me if I touched it.

I turned it over again, this time looking a bit closer to see if it was harmed. No signs of blood and it wasn’t whimpering. Another roll. It tumbled topsy-turvy.  I got the uncanny impression that it was now facing in my direction.

I hoped it wouldn’t rush up and bite my foot! It didn’t.

Even though the poor creature was terror-stricken, it seemed to know I was trying to help. I continued to push it until it was safely in the grass alongside the road.

I wish I could have stayed to see it recover its senses but when I finally recovered mine, I looked around in the silence to see no less than eight cars lined up behind mine. And, not one driver had honked!

Lighthearted, I gave them all a victorious V-sign and jumped into my car.

That was one hedgehog that wasn’t going to be road kill… at least not tonight.

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About emanita01

I am a Franco-american woman who hails from Brookline, Massachusetts. I live in France near the Swiss border, only minutes away from Geneva. I am a member of the Geneva Writers Group and the Association La Forge, a literary group based in France. I write stories, poems and am currently working on a couple of plays, a one-woman show and a dramatized poem.
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4 Responses to Hedgehog Survival or At Least Not Tonight

  1. Every part of me smiled when I read this. 🙂

    • emanita01 says:

      Hey, RoughWaterJohn,
      Glad you made your way over and that you like this one 😀

      I exactly know what you mean!

      I felt really great as I drove away, kind of like warm and fuzzy all over.

      Just now as I finished re-reading what I’ve written. I’m smiling the same smile all over again.

  2. leonargo says:

    You are an ANGEL!!

    I used to have a domesticated hedgehog as a pet, honestly you could’ve saved yourself the grief by slooowly cupping him from underneath… may seem prickly but it shouldn’t hurt. However, then the adventure would [not] be quite as suspenseful and amazing!!!

    That hedgehog must be so happy 🙂

    • emanita01 says:

      Thanks, I appreciate your kind words. Actually, I think that we both were quite happy after our encounter ;-D
      Hedgehog pet, eh? that must have been pretty cool. I once had a pet squirrel named Frisky…that is until he grew older and freed himself by chewing the wire of the bird cage my mom put him in…LOL.

      Do you kind of get the idea here that I really care about animals?

      Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be visiting you soon 😀

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