Instructions on Not Giving Up. A short story by Susan Deacon

I have a hedgehog, well I don’t own him but he’s a frequent lodger. The dogs do not enjoy sharing and herald his arrival barkily. Yesterday at 2 a.m, as I rolled Spike gently off the dustpan under the hedge, I thought about his emergence into the world every spring after hibernation; after five months of being snuggled up in bed. This is what we’ll have to do too. I watch him from the upstairs window, illuminated by the security light, as he unfurls, snuffles and squeaks his way further under the hedge and out of sight.
He has returned to continuous living. He was content to wait for five or six months, until it felt safe to re-emerge. There is now food aplenty, warmth in the air, soft undergrowth in which to hide and survive, mates awaiting and subsequently families to rear.
I thought of me and Clare, cocooned inside, safe and warm: institutionalised at home. I thought of our emergence. . .slowly, safely back into the noisy world. We will be wary, like him, of the viral predator and know where it is safe to go. There is food and loo roll aplenty, warmth and sunshine in the air, homes of safety for us to return to when we feel overwhelmed and families to reconnect with and cherish. We will, like Spike, emerge with caution and unfurl like a fist to an open palm. We’ll take it all and enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. Love this!

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