Charlie: Warning!

Cassie: What now?!

Charlie: I’ll be getting a hedgehog soon.

Cassie: I don’t think so.

Charlie: I already cleared it with Dad.

Cassie: Really? I doubt it.

Charlie: Well, I’ve started the campaign. It’s hard to get Dad to say yes. I have to do the convincing incrementally.

Cassie: And you’re bringing it to my attention with this warning? Is this the start of the campaign with me?

Charlie: Pretty much. Once you’re on board, Dad will be an easier nut to crack.

Cassie: “An easier nut to crack.” Oh wow.

Charlie: I’m considering a power point presentation. I’ve learned a lot about hedgehogs, so far, in two days of research.

Cassie: I can hardly wait.

Charlie: For the presentation? Or are you already pumped for the hedgehog?!!!

Cassie: I’m totally NOT pumped about a hedgehog. I just got through rats. Don’t you think I deserve more time to collect myself?

Charlie: Not really. These are the years when pets really matter….between the ages of 10 and 15.

Cassie: Who said?

Charlie: Everyone knows that.

Cassie: Don’t they shoot quills at you when they’re annoyed?

Charlie: Are you thinking porcupines, Mom?

Cassie: Maybe. But I’m pretty sure there’s an element of prickly with a hedgehog.

Charlie: I’ll go into an in-depth description of the quill situation in the power point. Basically, the underbelly of a hedgehog is really soft and smooth. You want to put your hand there…on the underbelly…and hold them like so. (Demonstrates with an imaginary hedgehog the recommended holding technique.)

Cassie: How do you know this?

Charlie: My research. I watched a lot of videos. Anyway, when they roll into a tight ball with just the quills exposed, that’s when you have a problem. (Now Charlie demonstrates a hedgehog tightly wound in a fierce ball position. I can feel the imaginary quills piercing into the skin of my hand.) Sometimes they spit if they’re really fuming.

Cassie: Dear God! They fume? And spit?!

Charlie: Hardly ever happens with domesticated hedgehogs. That’s more of an out-in-the-wild type of behavior.

Cassie: I see. You already have two dogs, both of which are likely to cause the hedgehog to exhibit the fuming-ball-of-quills behavior.

Charlie: Despite the negatives – and there are really only a few – hedgehogs have a lot to offer, Mom. Their cuteness is undeniable. I think I’ll open with that in my presentation….what hedgehogs have to offer and how adorable they are by their very nature.

(Oh. My. Lord.)

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