Tales of Peter the Hedgehog – Hedgehog Thoughts

The other morning I put on my wellington boots and went into the garden to do some digging. Just as I was finding my spade, I heard a loud snoring sound. I didn’t have to wonder who it was, I knew only too well. It was Peter Hedgehog still asleep. I know he stays out late at night looking for things to eat, but it was high time he woke up. So I knocked on his front door, which is at the side of my shed.

When at last he opened the door, he looked at me a long time (he’s short-sighted you see) and at last said, “Ah I’m glad you’ve come, I’ve been thinking.”

“You’ve been sleeping”, I said, “I heard you snoring!”

“No, I wasn’t sleeping, I was thinking. I always make that noise when I think, it helps me to concentrate. But as I was saying, I am glad you came, because I have been thinking.”

He looked up at me with his bright little eyes as if that explained everything. I stood there for quite a long time, waiting for him to carry on, before I realised that I was supposed to ask him what it was he had been thinking about.

“What, er, was it you were thinking about, then?” I finally said.

“Ah yes” he replied, “I wondered when you were going to ask. I thought probably you weren’t interested. It’s my cousin Albert you see, I’ve been wondering about him. What happened was that he tried to cross the road, and a car, that wasn’t looking where it was going, rushed past and hurt his foot. So now he’s at home with his foot all bandaged up (that is, his back foot, because if he hadn’t run as fast as he did, it might have been too terrible to think about). But there he is at home, and here I am having to look after him, cook his meals, and run his errands, and it’s made me think, made me think really hard”.

“Well, Albert isn’t the only one you know, I’ve heard of others, and if another relation gets hurt, it’s going to be a very tiresome -business looking after them. So I think something ought to be done about it.”

“What sort of thing?” I said, knowing that with Peter, it was bound to be unusual – it was!

“Now, that’s what I have been doing all the thinking about. And what with thinking, and looking after Albert, it’s been a very trying week. But I’ve written this letter, and I wonder if you would post it for me, because I never can reach those letter boxes.”

Looking at the letter I had the shock of my life. “This is addressed to the Queen!” I said.

Peter sniffed a bit with his nose, as he always did when he was worried. “Is that bad?” he asked. “Somebody told me that the swans and seagulls belong to the queen; so I thought that if they are the Queen’s birds, hedgehogs must be the Queen’s animals!”

Here is what the letter said:

Dear Queen,

I hope you can help, because I am very worried. My cousin Albert has been run over badly, and so have a lot of other hedgehogs. If you would tell motor cars that they must be very careful about hedgehogs, I would feel very happy, and I think a lot of other hedgehogs would too.

Your loving animal,


I posted the letter for Peter, and naturally we both waited impatiently for the reply. It only took three days to arrive, and when it did, I called Peter and read it to him. This is what it said:

Dear Peter Hedgehog,

It is very pleasing to me, to see your interest in road safety. Therefore, I have suggested that motorists should be more watchful for hedgehogs crossing the road.

The motorists, however, ask me to see that hedgehogs are careful also. They suggest that when about to cross a road, hedgehogs should try to use a pedestrian crossing; and always, look both ways to see whether any cars are coming. If you will please pass this message on to other hedgehogs, the motorists and I will be very pleased.



The last thing I saw of Peter he was running off somewhere, letter in paw. I think he was going to tell all the other hedgehogs who live in Amersham.

And by the way, if you happen to meet any hedgehogs, please tell them what the Queen said about crossing the road, and that goes for children, too.

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