Hedgehogs in Culture

Hedgehogs are not just the ‘gardener’s best friend,’ they are beloved throughout UK—in 2013 a BBC poll concluded that the hedgehog was the country’s most popular animal.  From video games such as Sega’s ‘Sonic the Hedgehog,’ to characters in Disney/Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 3’ and Sesame Street, hedgehogs have a definite place in popular culture, including appearances in such literary classics as Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and even a few of Shakespeare’s plays. 

Throughout history, hedgehogs have been the source of some weird and wonderful folklore, and are often depicted as being industrious, no-nonsense animals.  Some of our favourite stories are included below.

Hedgehog Folklore

A collection of some of our favourite pieces of hedgehog lore

THE SUN AND THE MOON

According to a Bulgarian legend, the Sun decided to marry the Moon and all of the animals were invited to the wedding. Everyone was in attendance, except for the hedgehog. When the Sun went to look for him, he found him gnawing on a rock. When the Sun asked what he was doing, the hedgehog explained, “I am learning how to eat rocks. Once you are married, you'll have many Sun children, and with so many Suns shining in the sky, everything will burn, and there will be nothing to eat.” The Sun then decided to call off the

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Hans My Hedgehog

The Brothers Grimm, 1819 (Tale no. 108)

There was once a country man who had money and land in plenty, but however rich he was, his happiness was still lacking in one respect—he had no children. Often when he went into the town with the other peasants they mocked him and asked why he had no children. At last he became angry, and when he got home he said, "I will have a child, even if it be a hedgehog."

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