Two weeks ago, I met up with a fellow dog walker during my evening stroll with Roxy.
We stopped to chat for a bit and he mentioned I should be careful when walking past the house on the corner.
Apparently, he and his dog had spotted a couple of hedgehogs in the yard.
Hedgehogs in the yard?
Instantly, I felt my skin crawl, my toes curl, and my hair stand on end.
Oblivious to my distress, he cautioned me that hedgehogs are infested with fleas.
Clueless to anything hedgehog related, I tried to focus on what he was saying, and not on the panic that engulfed me.
To see me, anyone would think the man had warned, “Be careful with the house on the corner. I spotted a couple of zombies inside and they’re now standing two feet away from us.”
Yet, never having seen a hedgehog, I was petrified at how I would react if I ever came across one.
As a result of this fateful meeting, Roxy and I have steered clear of the house, the sidewalk, and the street where the house on the corner stands.
And for the past two weeks, we have cautiously tip toed past it, even though we’re on the other side of the canal.
This morning, Roxy and I ventured out before it started to rain.
Halfway into our walk, I spotted something that looked like a huge rodent in the grass.
I immediately whipped out my camera, intent on capturing a shot of the world’s largest mouse, but instead, almost fainted when I realized it was a….hedgehog!
Trembling, yet in control, I held on tightly to Roxy’s leash and slowly approached it.
I had to zoom in, something I hate doing when taking pictures, but I was afraid Roxy would scare it away.
Or on the contrary, that it would scare the bejesus out of Roxy.
Gingerly, I took two steps closer, all the while reassuring our little Miss that she was a “good dog.”
I took another step and turned on my camera.
At this point, Roxy became aware of the little beast and stopped dead in her tracks.
Again, I spoke to her in a soothing tone and prayed she wouldn’t leap toward the prickly little monster who seemed to lay in waiting.
One more step.
Two more steps.
I clicked away as if the spirit of Cartier Bresson had possessed me.
Sadly, in spite of all my frenzy and passion, only one shot passes muster.
It surprised me that throughout the photo clicking frenzy, the small hedgehog didn’t move an inch.
It seemed to pose languidly, quite possibly laughing at me as I struggled to hold on to the camera, click the shutter, and prevent Roxy from befriending it.
Yes, folks, there’s a first time for everything and today I experienced my first hedgehog sighting.
Today I’m linking up with Heidi’s Black and White Wednesday.