This harmless, nocturnal little creature came alive in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, where he was used as a croquet ball. His natural tendency to curl up into a ball made him the perfect subject. Beatrix Potter treated the hedgehog a little more kindly in Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
Hedgehogs are closely related to moles and shrews but their fur has been adapted to form sharp spines. They molt every 18 months or so and hibernate in the fall, during which time they can lose up to 1/3 of their body weight.
It seems I have quite a weakness for the little critter. This is my collection of hedgehogs picked up at car boot sales on trips to England. They are my indoor hedgehogs. No, I don't belong to the hedgehog fan club or wear a hedgehog T shirt and I won't be standing with a placard. Nor will I be sending off to a breeder in the US for an exotic pygmy hedgehog. I'll just have to do the slug hunting myself.