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.
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.
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.