Life with a Hedgehog
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||beatrix, hoglets, mealworms, popularity, pygmies, silky-smooth, Tiggy-winkle, fictional, porcupine, occasionally, rabies, beloved, croquet, behavior, distinctive, schedule
||Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit, In Alice, North America, Many Peter Rabbit, Amy Sticker, Hedgebert McPricklesworth, Prickly Poo
Life with a Hedgehog
By Colleen Messina
1 Beatrix Potter knew all about life with a hedgehog. The author of the beloved Peter Rabbit stories once wrote about her pet and said, "Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a great traveler. She enjoys going by train; she is always very hungry when she is on a journey. I think you must ask Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle to tea, she will drink milk like anything out of a doll's tea cup!"
2 Hedgehogs look like walking pincushions. They might not be cuddly, but they can be wonderful pets. They just need an informed owner who will be gentle and patient. Give some space to a hedgehog that has rolled into a ball. It is their way of defending themselves. When a hedgehog is nervous, all of its 5,000 - 7,000 prickly spines stand out. Then the little animal becomes a ball. The spines are sharp, so no predator will try to eat the hedgehog. It would be like eating a piece of cactus!
3 Wild hedgehogs live in the forests and deserts of Africa, Europe, and Asia. Many people think that hedgehogs are related to the porcupine because of their spines, but they are actually related to moles and shrews. Hedgehogs came to North America in the 1980s for zoos and private collections. Later, more people raised them as pets. Most pet hedgehogs are African pygmy hedgehogs. In the 1990s, hedgehogs became even more popular because a hedgehog character named Sonic appeared on TV, in video games, and even in comic books. Hedgehogs were everywhere!
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