Linda waved goodbye to the milkman as he limped to the end of her road. Then she sat on her porch with her new hedgehog. He was so cute.
“Hello. What are you doing?” a voice asked.
Linda looked up and smiled. It was Walter, her best friend. He lived only a few houses down the lane from her, and he came to play often.
“See my new hedgehog?” Linda said, holding up the tiny creature.
“Hey, he’s pretty cute,” Walter said. “Can’t you just imagine him smiling? What’s his name?”
“I haven’t named him yet,” Linda answered.
“Well, I think you should call him ‘Quillbur’. It’s like ‘Wilbur’ but with quills,” Walter offered.
“Quillbur,” Linda repeated, trying the name out. “Quillbur…I like it!”
“Great!” Walter said. “I’ll help you make a nest for Quillbur.”
Walter and Linda went inside the house. Linda’s mother directed them to a dark corner in the pantry.
“I’ll get him a piece of an old blanket to snuggle,” Linda said.
“Wild hedgehogs don’t have blankets, silly,” Walter scoffed.
Linda put her free hand on her hip and glared at Walter. “Don’t call me ‘silly’,” she scolded.
For a moment, both children stared grumpily at each other. Then Walter rubbed his nose and looked at the corner of the pantry.
“Well, maybe…since he’s a house hedgehog…he does need a blanket,” Walter admitted. “He needs something to hide in, too. I have an idea.”
Walter ran back to his house and returned with a shoe box.
Linda stared at the box curiously. “Wild hedgehogs don’t have shoe boxes,” she said, pointedly.
“No, but they have holes and other places where they can hide,” Walter explained. He used a bit of string to tie the lid on his box, and he cut a hole in one end. “See?” Walter said, showing Linda. “He can run inside if he wants to.”
Walter ran out to the woodshed and brought in some pine shavings while Linda asked her mother for an old blanket. They set it all up.
“It looks so cozy,” Linda said. “I wish I were small enough to crawl inside.”
“We did a pretty good job,” Walter agreed.
Linda was happy. Now her new hedgehog had a name and a bed.