Half past three in the morning . A gale blowing . The rain sputtering and clattering in the downpipes. Bob and Sophie are on alert mode. Not just barking but howling. Angus opens the front door , torch in hand, to find out what the problem is. Could it be the cows across the lane have wandered into the garden again ?
Sophie is out of the door and into the cherry orchard at the speed of light. Bob following along behind. Heads down, rumps in the air, tails waving. Noses leading them through the darkness. They stop. A conspiratorial silence. I catch up with them and find the cause of the commotion. A family of hedgehogs stretched out line astern like a flotilla of dreadnoughts. Mother, father and babies. Each tightly curled up.
Bob is picked up and carried squirming back indoors. Sophie following along behind. As far as Angus is concerned three thirty is not the right time to get acquainted with the local wildlife. The hedgehogs must have been a good fifty yards from where the pups sleep. How did they know ? Smell, sound or canine sixth sense ?
Bob and Sophie go back to sleep with a ' didn't we do well ? ' look on their faces.The little angels are awake again two hours later when the wrens begin to sing.