Thursday, April 11, 2013

For the Love of Hedgehogs!

I Heart Hedgehogs!
Illustration from a European story book

One of the things I fell in love with when I lived in Germany was the hedgehog...the cutest woodland animal ever!  I loved the way they waddled about in the bushes and sometimes slept on my front porch.  I had a small collection of figurines and one day in Bremen I waited while a glassblower created one out of glass...the dear little fellow taking shape right before my eyes.  Sadly...my little glass hedgehog was one of the things the movers stole when we moved from Delmenhorst to Edewecht.  They also took one of the handmade clown dolls my grandparents made for me before I left home...but that is another story.
 
Anatomy of a Hedgehog...
According to Wikipedia, the name hedgehog came into use around the year 1450...derived from the Middle English heyghoge.  Heyg, or hegge ("hedge") because it often calls hedgerows home...and hoge, hogge ("hog"), from it's piglike snout.  Other names include urchin, hedgepig and furze-pig.
 
Although hedgehogs are covered with spines...they are stiff hollow hairs and are not poisonous or barbed like the quills of a porcupine.  They will roll themselves into tight little balls for protection...hoping that the prickly spines will discourage their enemies from eating them.  Forest hedgehogs have relatively few predators...mainly owls and ferrets.

Darling Spring Card
 
Hedgehogs are fairly vocal little critters...they communicate with grunts, snuffles and/or squeals.  I enjoyed hearing our neighborhood hedgehogs snuffling about in the woods near our apartment building.

A Russian Greeting Card.
 
 Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal...but depending on the species may be more or less active during the day.  He may sleep for most of the day under cover of a bush, or grass, or under a rock or in a hole in the ground...a den he dug himself.  Pet hedgehogs love to stick their heads into tight spaces like toilet paper tubes and walk around with them stuck on their heads. This behavior is called "tubing."  McDonalds had to change the design of McFlurry containers, because wild hedgehogs would become trapped inside and starve to death.   ..

Steiff Hedgehog Family.
I have wanted a hedgehog doll for over 30 years.
I couldn't afford the very expensive Steiff animals when I lived in Germany.
 
Hedgehog Couple
Henrietta and Fritz Hedgehog
I found Fritz and Henrietta in the Etsy shop of one of my favorite bloggers, Julie of A Vintage Chic. They are the creations of her mother, Karen O. Smith.  Her designs are influenced by the classic German doll makers of the past...which have inspired Karen since she was "just one small girl."  They are crafted from 100% German Schulte mohair and 100% German wool felt. Fritz's lederhosen are suede!  These jointed dolls are amazing in their detail...heirloom quality.   I am so delighted with my treasures that I just had to blog about them.  You should visit Julie's shop "Just One Small Girl" and meet the other dolls and hedgehogs.
 
 
Isn't he the sweetest little thing in the woods?
 
Thanks for letting me share a bit of hedgehog lore with you.
I think Fritz and Henrietta are going to need some accessories...
it will be fun thinking about some German-style furniture.
 
 


8 comments:

Elizabeth Andrus said...

Hi Shirley, I have loved reading about Julie's mother on her blog and am beyond excited to see up close her beautiful work. Aren't they adorable! I'm so happy for you!
Time to step away, life overwhelms me as well at times, I think I am just exhausted from these months of being cooped up with my knee. I will be back again in the summer! Take care, Elizabeth

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Oh what sweet hedgehogs all of them are!! :) I'm headed over to her etsy shop to take a peak around! Hope you have a lovely evening! It's chilly and rainy here, so I'm making some hot soup for dinner :) Holly

Patti M said...

Oh Shirley how cute!! Such sweet little faces!! Thanks for sharing! So jealous of your scoop of red white and blue from our dear friend! Tehe! Happy for you!....hugs Patti M :)

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

I think that hedghogs are very sweet! My grandgirl wants one! I don't see that happening!
Your new ones are sweet and what a fun collection!
Warmly,
deb

Sandy McClay said...

Wow...LOVE those dolls! A yes, hedgehogs are cute! So are beavers, and I just read where a man took a photo of one and it bit him to death! JEEZ!!!! Just how big do beaver get????

I woudl stick to the hedgehogs...:):)

Mecky said...

I would love to have a Fritz! I will have to check out Julie's shop.

You should check out my post about my Mecki doll that my daughter brought back for me. He is so ugly he is cute!!

Mecky

vintage grey said...

What adorable and sweet hedgehog dolls!! So glad you could get them! What treasures they are! I do adore hedgehogs, too! xo Heather

Sandy C said...

Cute! I used to sell Hedgehogs as pets and the newspaper did an interview with me..lol! Have a great weekend!

Sandy xox