The egret showed up on my porch at the oddest of times. I laughed at the thought, as egrets on the porch are a rather abnormal event. Perhaps the dampness brought him inland, I considered as the petrichor of the morning shower wafted over me. He seemed to be captivated by the teapot, turning his head to the left and the right curiously. Then he tapped at the lid. I was surprised to hear a tap back. Slowly, the lid lifted and there it sat. Extraordinary! A tiny hedgehog had curled up into the floral, ceramic pot. What would occur next?
The hedgehog stretched and then rolled out of its makeshift bed like a roly poly and found its feet. The egret nudged it with his beak and the hedgehog responded to this intrusion by turning his back full of tiny quills his direction. The egret tilted his head one last time, curiosity satisfied, took an odd hop before taking to the air. He spiraled above for a moment before following the contrail back to his wetlands. The hedgehog, however, seemed less concerned with outer spaces as he become quite interested in a pile of treasures left by my nephew.
He attempted to climb into the bed of the small, yellow dump truck but it tilted up landing him on his back. With some chubby kicks of his little legs, he flipped back over and backed up to reconsider the pile. Something else caught his eye and he picked his way through the pile.
I laid my book down and reached for my glass of lemonade when I heard a WHAP! A scraping and a struggle pulled my attention back to the pile where I saw that the poor creature was indeed in trouble. The butterfly net had tumbled over the top of him and the quills were finding themselves wrapped into the threads. “You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle, haven’t you, little mister?”
Scooping up the net, I gave it a couple of stern shakes. The hedgehog came free and tumbled the short distance to the floor. He seemed stunned at first. Then, backing away from the pile, he decided his visit had been enough adventure. Seeking escape, he slipped through a small hole at the edge of the porch. Perhaps I will leave the teapot outside more often. It certainly shook away the lonely strings of my morning.
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