Monday, June 9, 2014

Tygers - Chapter 3

I started wrote this in my journal a while ago, after Rosie wanted another Tiger story at bed time. I intended to add more to it, but never thought of anything good to add, so I figured I'd just throw in some illustrations and leave it as it is.

It was a sunny morning in early Spring. The streams were burbling happily to themselves, glad to be free of the winter ice, and feeling important because they were taking the melted snow water down to the river. The squirrels emerged, bleary eyed, from their tree trunks and tried to remember where they had hidden their nuts. And high in the branches a robin cautiously cleared its throat and tested its voice before commencing its morning song. It was on a morning such as this that two young tigers set out to explore the sights and sounds of Spring.

They had been been walking for about fifteen minutes when the older tiger, Rosie, noticed a scufflement at the base of a moss-covered bush. They went a little closer to investigate a saw a small brown animal snuffling among the roots. It had a black, twitchy nose, two black twinkly eyes, and, covering its back were prickles. The animal paused to look at the two approaching tigers.

"What kind of animal are you?" asked Sophie, the younger tiger, curiously.

"Ah," said the animal impressively, "I is an Erinaceus Europaeus, of the order Erininaceomorpha." Then, as the tigers look confused, it added "What is commonly called an 'edge 'og. And what might you two stripey young ladies be, if I might be so bold as to ask?".

"We're Tigers," said Rosie proudly. "I'm Rosie."

"And I'm Sophie," said Sophie.

"Bernard Tiggiewinkle Esquire. Delighted to make your aquaintance," said the hedge hog."I was named after Saint Tiggiewinkles 'edge 'og 'ospital where I was born," he explained. "Bernard is after Saint," he added.

"Oh," said Rosie. "Why do you keep scratching yourself with your hind leg?"

"Ah," said Bernard Tiggiewinkle, "that would be on account of these 'ere fleas itching something terrible. We 'edge 'ogs 'ave an awful lot of fleas."

Both the tigers took a few steps back.

"Not to worry missies," said the hedgehog. "'Edge 'og fleas is most particular. Not interested in other sorts of animals."

"What are you doing?" asked Sophie curiously.

"Looking for slugs," said Bernard Tiggiewinkle. "They're delicious," he said. "Look here's one."

Bernard held up a large, semi-translucent, wriggling slug that seemed to ooze slime. The two tigers, who had moved closer after hearing that they were safe from hedgehog fleas, took a step back again.

"Would you like to try one?" the hedgehog asked Rosie.

"No thank you," Rosie said politely.

"Are you sure? They're fresh. This one looks especially juicy."

"No thank you," said Rosie again.

"What about you, Miss?" said Bernard Tiggiewinkle turning to Sophie. "Very good for you slugs is. Highly nutritious."

"No thank you," said Sophie as politely as she could manage.

"Mighty fine slug this. Don't recall seeing better."

"It's very kind of you," said Sophie, "but I'm really not hungry."

"Ah well," said the hedgehog. "Suit yourself."

"There was a loud slurping noise as the slug disapeared into Bernard Tiggiewinkles mouth. The two twitching antennae were the last part to vanish. There followed by a few minutes of munching and swallowing noises, and then a the hedgehog emitted a soft "burp".

"As I thought," he said to himself. "Mighty fine slug that."

"Well," said Rose politely, "it was a pleasure meeting you Mister Tiggiewinkle."

The hedgehog nodded his head towards them in a formal manner before turning back to the bushes to search for more slugs, and the two tigers continued on their way.