The Hedgehogs and the Fascinating Book

n the spring, when the flowers come out, the birds sing, and the sun shines through the bright green leaves, poets tell us that we should fall in love.

But all the charms of spring could not make the little hedgehog fall in love. He had always been in love. Always. Ever since he could remember.

“Doris! Doris!” he said breathlessly, as their class filed obediently out of the school in the wood, “I’ve seen some worms down by the pond. Big fat worms, Doris! We could go down there and dig them up together. Why don’t you come with me, Doris? Why don’t you come with me, Doris? Doris?”

“I’m really very busy, Malcolm,” said the object of his love, absently picking a daisy and coyly placing it behind her ear.

“Maybe later, then, Doris? Eh, Doris? Maybe later?”

“Oh perhaps,” said Doris absently. “But I am rather busy. I have a lot to do.”

“What are you doing, Doris? What’s making you so busy?”

“Oh, things,” she replied, “Things. I really must go, Malcolm. I’ll see you tomorrow.” And suddenly resolute, she turned away and set off down the path from the schoolroom, vanishing into the tangled grass and weeds.

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