Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hedgehog - The Poem DH Lawrence Never Wrote

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

Well, that was DH Lawrence in his poem Snake, on the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking

If old DH had been in Leeds his poem would have been thus:

A hedgehog came to my plant-pot
On a cold cold day, and I in my black fleece for the cold

and a bit later on there'd have been a line about on the day of Leeds July, with it still raining

Snakes may be things of poetry, but hedgehogs somehow aren't: they're too round and cute-looking. I don't think it's possible to write a serious poem about something that snuffles and kicks up its back feet as it walks.
This one was a youngster, and we found it drinking out of the plant-pot holder on the patio.

They like cat food - the traditional British hedgehog food of bread and milk is really bad for them - so we gave it some cat food. It was very hungry, which was probably why it was out and about in the daytime.

Hedgehogs make a lot of noise in the night - in fact they sound like pigs, hence the name - and they can walk about three miles a night in their search for food, which is mostly worms and slugs.

Since it appeared on the patio we've seen it several more times and keep feeding it. Yesterday's rain has brought out lots of slugs and worms so there should be plenty of food for it now. I hope it'll stay in the garden, though I shan't be writing poetry about it.


Blogger Soup Waiter said...

That was lovely, I've never seen a hedgehog in Belgium, I didn't even know I missed them so much.

12:29 am  
Blogger MrsG said...

I had never seen one until I moved over here, and I think they're adorable... (Happy Birthday for yesterday, by the way!)

10:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Gareth if he remembers the hedgehog in the wardrobe.
I'm not sure who was more startled, me or the hedgehog.

5:04 am  

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