After our fantastic introduction to an echidna last year, I was pleased to find a hedgehog in our path one night at the farm. We were walking along the track when I heard rustling in the grass. Knowing that New Zealand doesn’t have any nasty animals like snakes, I followed the rustle into the grass and discovered a hedgehog trying very hard to not be seen.

Brioni touching a hedgehog, February 2011
Brioni was not shy about touching the hedgehog while it was still in the grass.

I wrapped the hedgehog in Calista’s jumper to pick it up — they’re spiky! — and carried it to the truck where David was still working. When he held it on his lap, the other girls felt the hedgehog’s spines which are much smaller than an echindna’s.

Hedgehog in our truck, February 2011
We put the hedgehog down in our truck so it would uncurl from its tight ball. Once it started investigating the truck, it didn't appear frightened by our scrutiny.

We’re thankful that we had this opportunity to meet the hedgehog. The girls have seen them featured in one of their favourite movies — The Fox and the Child — but to see and touch one in real life is very exciting!