April 12, 2016

Friday, June 29, 2012

Poetry Friday: I Am Formally Introduced to a Hedgehog

After years of teaching the poem below, I met my first hedgehog last week.


He ambles along like a walking pin cushion,
Stops and curls up like a chestnut burr.
He's not worried because he's so little.
Nobody is going to slap him around.

Translated from the Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth

Everyone, meet Daisy. Daisy, meet the Poetry Friday gang.

Daisy is a pygmy hedgehog, smaller than my  hand.

My daughter and her friend -- Daisy's favorite person.
 I use the hedgehog poem to introduce similes. I usually bring a pin cushion and a burr (sweetgum burrs are plentiful here and stand in for chestnut). The students and I talk about why these are good comparisons for a hedgehog.

The quills won't prick you when she's relaxed, but petting a hedgehog is a strange sensation. They feel kind of like fingernails. Daisy likes to take naps with her best friend (above, on right), nestled in the crook of her arm. Big personality in a small package -- as noted by Chu Chen Po.

I hope you enjoyed the cuteness. More Poetry Friday at Marjory's Paper Tigers!


Irene Latham said...

Oh, Daisy IS a cutie! As are your daughter and friend. As for the poem... it had me at "chestnut burr." Thanks for sharing!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said... one will WANT to slap this little fella around. This does make for a wonderful simile lesson, thanks for sharing!

Mary Lee said...

Cuteness overdose! That nose! Those button eyes!

And, yes, perfect poem for teaching similes!!

jama said...

Daisy is so adorable!! And what a sweet poem. I've never seen a hedgehog in person either, but have loved Mrs. Tiggywinkle a long time.

Marjorie said...

Oh, you didn't just meet a hedgehog, you met a pygmy hedgehog - how utterly adorable. Hedgehogs were a big part of my childhood as they were my brother's favorite animal. He was/is a long-standing member of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society - since it was set up some 30 years ago! I will send him a link to your post!

Renee LaTulippe said...

HAHAHAHA! That poem is priceless - LOVE IT! "Nobody is going to slap him around" is my new favorite line of poetry this week.

And yay for meeting daisy - adorable!

Julie said...

Mrs. Tiggywinkle is a favorite of mine, too, Jama - and Beatrix Potter must have seen a hedgehog or two close up. She captured the spirit of Daisy, and the prickles, and the cute little face, perfectly. What an amazing world, to have both Beatrix Potter and Chu Chen Po celebrating hedgehogs!

Katya said...

Daisy is so adorable. I've always wanted a pygmy hedgehog as a pet... and they are definitely like a "chestnut burr".

Author Amok said...

Hi, Everyone. Thanks for visiting with me and Daisy. (Busy day today -- music camp performances.)

Yes, Daisy is a pygmy hedgehog that the family bought from a local breeder. Size-wise, they are somewhere between a guinea pig and a hamster, but they live quite a bit longer than a hamster. About 5-6 years.

Daisy will hiss when she's spooked, but seems like a pretty calm lady. Channeling Mrs. Tiggywinkle (oh, that sweet red handkerchief). She hasn't gotten defensive enough to test her quills.

She's a good pet for a family with school aged kids and a stay home parent. Sleeps all day and wakes up to play when my daughter's friend gets home. And easy to care for. She eats cat food.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Yep, Adorable - the poem and the wee creature. A fellow critique group member used to have hedgehogs - what wonderful animals. Thanks for adding to the smile quotient all around today, Laura!

Tabatha said...

Hi Laura! Our power is finally back on! Hope you all are well. Thanks for the introduction to hedgehogs! I didn't realize that they are relatively easy to care for. Maybe we should consider adopting one...