Hedgehog illustration by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (www.owlingabout.co.uk).Finch is at the stage where he wants to have a go at feeding himself and it’s a messy business. For someone like me, with a strong food waste conscience, it’s just about unbearable to watch. We spread a big sheet of oilcloth under his chair to try and catch as much of the debris as possible. At the end of the day I gather up the oilcloth by its corners and tip it out by the bird feeder for the birds. The other evening Big Dreamer was out in the garden and witnessed a four-legged visitor tucking into Finch’s leftovers. You’ve probably guessed from my picture. That’s right, a snuffly hedgehog hoovered it all up with apparent relish. Little Owl was super excited because her recent wildlife magazine ran a feature on identifying different sorts of animal poo, and the hedgehog had left a perfect specimen for her to tick off on her sheet. And I can now relax as Finch clumsily misses his mouth for the umpteenth time, knowing that our prickly friend considers his rejects a bounty.

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