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Notes from St Tiggywinkles: The wonderful world of big old badger fleas

The giant hedgehog

The giant hedgehog

  • by Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham
 

What have a giant hedgehog and a collection of badger fleas have in common?

If I say David Attenborough are you any the wiser?

It all started in our prep room where the peculiar sign, “Les wants hedgehog fleas for David Attenborough” was posted on a cupboard door so that nobody could miss it.

In no time at all we had a small pot of badger fleas.

They are big, much bigger than those we might find on our dogs and cats.

Thank goodness they are only found on badgers.

Fleas are not an easy pet to keep so we lost the first batch.

When the second badger gave up its fleas a courier from the TV production company producing ‘Natures Curiosities’ was with us ‘tout de suite’ rushing our precious captives back to Bristol.

You might think that is amazing but when you hear that, somebody very dextrous, fits little harnesses to the fleas you can but wonder.

All is now clear to us.

David, presenting the series Natures Curiosities, is in one episode, to show our fleas in a flea circus.

Yes, such things can exist.

Our butch fleas will apparently be pulling little carts and a roundabout.

We shall all be watching.

But where does that Giant Hedgehog fit into the equation?

All will be clear?

I am always seeking out hedgehog stories and happenings. One day I found out that a giant hedgehog statue fashioned from wood and stuff had been erected on Clapham Common, strangely enough close to where I grew up in Battersea.

And guess what? The hedgehog had been created to launch David Attenborough’s series.

Wanting to see the hedgehog I promptly phone the TV production company to see if the hedgehog was still on the Common.

It had been moved but nil desperandum I did get a picture.

Who says coincidences don’t happen?

 

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