Patrick Hugo the Craziest of All

Because our weird Alaskan weather has it feeling like spring (which is when new animals tend to show up round here on this crazy little farm)…

And because the kids asked me the other day if we couldn’t get another hedgehog {{PULEEEEZZZE MAMA??!!!}}…

And, well, just because I kinda miss the prickly little fella that brought so much excitement to our household…

I decided to dust off a piece from a couple years back and relive one of the funnier seasons on our crazy little farm. Our sweet Patrick Hugo brought much excitement to us in his two short years of life. Sadly, he had a sudden onset of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (I promise you I don’t make this stuff up) this past summer and my husband mercifully and tenderly sent him heavenward.

Every critter has something to teach us though, and Patrick Hugo taught us that even the littlest of us can cause a BIG stir.

And more so, He taught us that God is always listening, in our big trials, and in the little prickly ones 🙂

MARCH 2012 100

October, 2012

Probably the most exciting event to take place round here this month involved the smallest and prickliest of us, Patrick Hugo our hedgehog. He’s recently come into his own.

As in the past month or so he’s developed a habit of whooping it up in his cage between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. He turns his pen into a regular little mosh pit, banging his dishes up against the sides and wreaking general havoc. Being that his cage is in the room directly above our bed, this has turned into many sleepless hours for me, which results in me getting out of bed, coming upstairs and moving his cage into the bathroom where he can mosh to his heart’s content.

After a few nights of this, I realized he would probably be a much happier hedgehog if he could get out and about and roam the wide open range of the potty room all night long.

So I let him out.

And he was much like a teenage boy moving into the basement. He turned it into a rec room and made his own, flopping his little prickly body wherever and whenever he wanted. We’d find him curled up behind the toilet, scampering wildly under the vanity, sleeping peacefully inside the package of toilet paper on the floor of the linen closet. We just let him have run of the bathroom and kept the door closed.

We cohabitated peacefully with this arrangement until my daughter, sweet animal whisperer that she is, thought maybe he could use some company and brought him into the kitchen with her to chat and visit while she made tea.

And that was the last we saw of him.

The following are excerpts taken from my Facebook page.:

Oct. 30th:  Things tend to get interesting when there’s a hedgehog on the loose….
Nov. 1st:  Ok hedgehog…this isn’t funny.

Nov. 3rd: Left a dish of turkey out the size of a softball. Right on the floor of the room I suspect our prodigal hedgehog is holed up in. Upon doing a middle-of-the-night sneak check on him, the whole serving (which was bigger than him!) is g-o-n-e, as is most of the water in his water dish. It wasn’t my dogs, they were in lockdown. There is no other sign of Patrick Hugo the Hedgehog. This is one legendary hedgehog I’m dealing with here folks. An enigma. A prickly little enigma.

Nov. 4th:   FRIEND:  How’s the hedgehog hunt going?   ME: He remains in stealth mode. Live trap is the next objective. Extraction mission scheduled for 0200 hours. FRIEND: Are you going to break out the cammo and the face paint? I want pictures!  ME: Change in strategy. Disassembled room subject originally occupied. Negative result. Proceeding with isolation tactics. Turkey and traps engaged.

NOTE:  Prayers from our church family were engaged at Sunday night church. My nine year old (our hedgehog whisperer) sweetly raised her hand during prayer request time and asked the congregation to pray that we would find our hedgehog. Our sweet minister did just that. With a straight face, bless him.

Nov. 5th:   Patrick Hugo isolated to three possible roms. Tore apart room we *thought* he was in, and realized he was just visiting long enough to devour the food I leave out. Live trap slipped, turkey meat gone. We now know what four rooms he is NOT in. Between trying to hunt and secure the lone-wolf roaming Hedgehog, the vet coming out at noon to spay our barn cat on the kitchen table, and Suey the guinea pig, whose pelvic bones indicate she is due to give birth any second, I am beginning to wonder if we’ve become “THAT” homeschooling family…

Nov. 5th: Patrick Hugo was extricated today at approximately 1200 hours after a six-day abscence from his normally assigned restroom habitat. One live trap, an extensive Facebook advisory panel, eight turkey breast bait bowls, two herd dogs w/ malfunctioning hedgehog herding insincts, one pair of tired parents, three medium sized ranch hands and one naked preschooler were utilized in the ongoing rescue mission, all with negative results. The power of prayer coupled with mama’s big muscles is what finally led to the discovery of this prickly pet in deep hiding underneath the biggest bookshelf in the house (the one that holds all the household Bibles, dictionaries and encyclopedias). Though dehydrated and a little thin, the normally grouchy critter responded uncharacteristically, displaying affection and a peppiness that can only be attributed to gratefulness. He is celebrating his reunion with a dish of banana-mealworm-turkey mush and some wayfaring R&R in his cage. Where he is assigned to stay for a long time. A very.. long..time. {{{ I think he kinda missed us ♥ }}}

© Cassandra Rankin, This Crazy Little Farm
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