My vacation in the Czech Republic has some unexpected photo opportunities. Two days ago I woke up to a surprise visitor of my parents’ farm. This little baby hedgehog was sniffing around the backyard the night before when my Dad went to check on the animals. And since hedgehogs are actually pests known for stealing eggs this guy was caught and later relocated to a more remote area. But not before I got to photograph him!
The Hedgehog is a popular creature in Czech Fairytales. They are always portrayed as kind but sometimes lazy creatures that carry fruit (mostly apples and pears) on their backs stuck to their needles. Because of that when I was a child I believed that hedgehogs eat only fruit when in fact they are omnivorous and also nocturnal. Their defense technique is to roll into a ball of needles (unlike the porcupine they do not shoot their quills). When I turned this baby on his back he did exactly that – curled up like the baby he is. I stood still over him with my camera and waited for him to sniff the air as he tested if all is clear. Then he slowly unrolled himself and quickly flipped back onto his feet. He scurried around just fast enough for me to follow him and take a few more pictures. Finally I got to pet him and hold him before he went on his adventure to find a new home. Being a baby about half the size of an adult hedgehog he fit into the palm of my hand. It wasn’t the cuddliest hug but he was just so adorable I didn’t care about a little pain from his needles 🙂