Respecting the resident hedgehogs

My friend lived just outside St Andrews proper at Pilmour Cottage.  It was set among woods, gorse bushes and rough undulating pasture.  A couple of hedgehogs decided to share his home, and moved in to a stair cupboard with a gap under its door.  They were very shy creatures, and if disturbed, would each curl up into a prickly ball if they didn't have time to dash back to the gap under the stair cupboard.

All his guests treated them with consideration.  We'd stop talking when one of them came into the room to sample the saucer of milk or raw egg he'd put out.  They would shuffle in, claws scraping on the tiles, amid much loud snuffling.  We'd sit perfectly still and watch until they shuffled away.

One took a liking to his bed, he informed us casually.  At about 6am he would feel it climb up the side to hang down by its claws from under the top blanket, but not inside the sheets.  He would get up carefully when it was time to do so, looking at the bulge of the creature's shape in the side of the bed.  It was always gone when he turned in at night.  He took it all very casually, as part of the respect one affords wild creatures – especially the ones that share your home.