A Twist in the Tale: A Hedgehog Prepares for the Holidays

By Jenny Kalahar

Rhoda the Hedgehog has lots of winter spirit

Rhoda the hedgehog has lots of winter spirit

Thanksgiving is coming, as are the winter holidays. Cats have begun to gravitate toward fireplaces, heat registers, and the recently-vacated beds of their people. Dogs now burrow under blankets, sleep with their noses covered by fluffy tails, and deign to cuddle with the other pets in their household.

My friend Susan has lived with a rambunctious hedgehog, Rhoda, for a couple of years. Rhoda seems to enjoy whatever holiday has arrived, whenever it arrives. As long as there are celebrating, party hats, hedgehog-worthy snacks, groovy music and colored lights, Rhoda is a happy camper. She loves Christmas music the best, especially when Susan plays it on the piano and sings.

This year they’ve invited the neighborhood pets and their people over for a First Snow party. Its exact date is a mystery, of course, but Rhoda and Susan are ready for guests whenever snowflakes start to fly. A special treat is that Rhoda has written new words for that old standard holiday song, Winter Wonderland. Their version is a little weird, but in a good way. I’ve gotten permission to share the lyrics with you.

Winter Hedgey-Hog

Sleigh bells ring, are you list’nin?
In the lane, snow is glist’nin’
A mealworm’s in sight, we’re happy tonight
Walkin’ with my winter hedgey-hog

Gone away is the blue worm
Here to stay is a new worm
We’re foragin’ now, just me and my sow
Walkin’ with my winter hedgey-hog

In the meadow we can root for insects
Then pretend that they are still around
Even though it’s eight degrees and snowin’
She can push her snout through drifts and boughs

Later on, we’ll perspire
As we drowse by the fire
And face unafraid the mice we dismayed
Walkin’ with my winter hedgey-hog

Just walkin’ with my winter hedgey-hog!


Jenny Kalahar, her husband Patrick, and their pets live in Indiana where she sells used and rare books and writes novels and poetry. She is the author of a fantasy novel about teens stuck with the worst-ever magical power, This Peculiar Magic. Her two novels about fostering cats are Shelve Under C: A Tale of Used Books and Cats, and The Find of a Lifetime. Her collection of nostalgic and humorous poetry is One Mile North of Normal and Other Poems. For more, visit her blog.

More from Jenny:

The Tale of the Great Pupkin

An Interpretation of Animal Photos

The Quest for Fred

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