Thai Days: Hedgehogs, Death in my household – and vinegar


Hugh Paxton’s Blog has had it with animals dying on my premises.

Fledgling did a beak dive, was rescued from the road by a caring Thai lady who gave to us (thanks) we nursed the little chap for two days and two nights and he died in my hands just before Annabel went to school. She stood around with her toothpick and the dangling worm at the end.

I stood around with a dead bird.

Next day our great blue crayfish went pink and I thought right! Breakfast for the cat! The dog? Neither touched it. I scooped it up again, its head fell off and this virulent orange liquid was all over my trousers. The smell was simply unprecedented!

This afternoon one of our hedgehogs gave birth. Tiny thing, nicely prickled, about the size of my thumb. Chang and I made the discovery and Chang’s face lit up with delight. I raced off to tell everybody the good news and the father took the opportunity to rip its stomach open. The spectacle was hideous. I’ve never thrown a hedgehog across a garden before. I grabbed the stinker and lobbed him off and away. By God he flew! And he balled. And he hit a fence and bounced. I would have picked him up and lobbed him into the pond but the youngster needed attention. It was most grievous maimed and needed a bit of help.

I thought quickly. Annabel was weeping. “Darling don’t worry, I’ll just stamp on it.”


Chang said “I’ll burn him and he will go to heaven!”


Our neighbour, Pascalle, heard the uproar and asked to see the wretched thing.

She’s rather clever. She pronounced it dead. It wasn’t. Still worming around. This calmed Annabel. Chang and I took the battered creature out.

“I’ll just do it,” I told Chang.

Chang gave me a loyal look and ignored me.

Off it went.

Chang came back.
“What happened?”

“I burned him and put him in the shrine pond. The lizards will eat him.”

That struck me as a decent disposal. I hadn’t bothered burning our bird. I just stuck him in his nest and bunged it onto the island where the monitor lizards lair. Our crayfish retains its stench but is doing it in our dustbin.

We settled down to snacks. Burmese snacks.

Tough work but worthwhile after you have mixed all the tea with nuts and red things that look like trouble and the other things.

After that a bit of Oliver’s curry!

Annabel, Chang and I then cleared cleaned the hedgehog cage. The hedgehogs left at speed on the back of a scooter and will either find a caring home or will be cooked. Quite frankly I don’t give a damn! No 57 is a Hedgehog Free Zone! They keep eating each other and they can do that somewhere else! I’ve had enough of it!

Annabel now wants rats. And believe it or not I’m going to go with my darling daughter to Chatuchak to buy the little bastards. We are meant to be having a military coup! Why am I allowed to be running around town buying rats?

Love from Bangkok


PS And no, I’m not making this up – I suggested that Annabel should use vinegar to clean the hedgehog cage. She looked for anything that had vinegar and by God! Does our hedgehog cage smell Balsamic!

2 Responses to “Thai Days: Hedgehogs, Death in my household – and vinegar”

  1. Stella Says:

    Dear God, what a day!

  2. Hugh Says:

    Rather normal, I’m afraid, Stella.

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