Chapter 24 In Which We Acquire Walter Wedgie, the Wonder Hedgie

Also officially known as Spike.

So here's the very sweet story of how a little boy named Max got his heart's desire.
Okay, first you must know that Max's heart's desire is a hedgehog. Apparently, there is no accounting for heart's desires.

Somehow, about 6 months ago, Max got it into his little head that more than anything else in life he wanted a hedgehog. A little random, but, okay. Whatever.

Here's the problem, though.

Hedgedhogs are quite trendy, and as you may know, the trendier something is, the more expensive it is likely to be. Hedgehogs are no exception.

If you google hedgehogs looking for a breeder or just someone who has one for sale, you're likely to find that a hedgehog is probably going to run you in the neighborhood of $250. I know. Yikes. And that's before you start purchasing the vast quantities of gear that a happy hedgehog needs and wants.

So we told Max, "Better start saving your money."

Those of you who are parents know that at this point Mark and I are thinking that Max is going to lose enthusiasm for hedgehogs WAY before he earns enough money for one.


Max takes a shoe box and uses stickers to label it "Hedgie Fund" and puts in the $1.58 that he has saved. And then the $2 he earns for doing chores. And the $5 his grandpa pays him for washing his truck. And time goes by.

Occasionally, something at the store looks very tempting to Max, but with a little encouragement he manages to forego plastic toys, video games and trading cards. And time goes by.

Meanwhile, just out of curiosity, I'm keeping an eye on craigslist to see what's available as far as hedgehogs are concerned. They don't come up very often, but once in a while there is a hedgehog listed, always for a lot of money.

But one day, after I drop the kids at school, I pull up craigslist and search for hedgehogs and there is a listing for one. It doesn't name a price, just that the owner is very concerned with finding it a good home.

Now, at this point I know that Max has saved exactly $40. A huge amount for a 9 year old with cheap parents to sock away, but not even in the ballpark of what one might expect to pay for a hedgehog.


I figure it can't hurt to shoot this person an emamil explaining that I have this 9 year old, hedgehog-obsessed son, etc...

So I write a long letter telling the story of Max's quest, and explaining that he only has $40 but he's saved it all himself and that his dad and I would front him another $10 and if there's any way that she would consider taking $50 to please give me a call.

And I'm thinking, yeah right. That's the last I'll hear of that.

But, wonder of wonders, this young woman calls me and says that although her email box was jammed with responses from people wanting to buy her hedgehog, and although mine was nowhere near the first response she received, she read my letter and decided that Max absolutely HAD to have her hedgehog and she hadn't even contacted anybody else.

Let me tell you, there's nothing like telling your kid something that makes them so happy that they cry. I'll never forget telling Max the (intentionally drawn out) story of how I had found this ad on craigslist.

He just stood there with his eyes getting wider and wider and filling up with tears until I got to the end of the story. Then he whispered, "Does that mean I get the hedgehog?"

We drove down to Portland the next day to get Dexter (now, Spike) and Max brought in his "Hedgie Fund" box, and he just about cried, and the woman just about cried, and she told him that he should keep the coins that comprised part of his $50 because he would need a start for whatever he decided to save for next. She explained all about caring for a hedgie and then loaded us up with every imaginable thing that a hedgehog could need: cage, travel cage, playpen, wheel, bath stuff, blankets, food, even a book and a little decorative hedgehog figurine.

Spike is now happily integrated into our family. Max is a happy hedgehog owner and I am beyond grateful to a young woman in Portland who passed up maximum profit to fulfill the wish of a little boy she didn't even know.


  1. That is the sweetest story! I got tears in my eyes reading it! I'm now much more appreciative of Spike than I was the day I met him and was spazzing out about talking in all the classrooms. I need a second chance!

  2. That's the greatest story!!!!!!!
    Uncle Mike

  3. OK...so I'm taking a break here in Tallahassee Florida, checking blogs, trying to hold back watery eyes among my CG colleagues and admiring the mom who went the extra mile for her boy! I will share this with the other moms here. Papa God loves that little boy of yours...and you. What a gift.


Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts!