Last Friday, late at night, Tony reported strange snuffling noises from the beech hedge that runs down the side of the garden. It wasn't me. It's been hot, so next day I put down water bowls in strategic places.
Monday night, after dark, I was outside bringing in the washing when I heard rustling from the very back of the garden, where the compost bin is. I couldn't see anything, and by the time I'd gone indoors and found a torch that worked I couldn't hear anything, either. I was hoping for a hedgehog, but I was also a bit worried that I might find some creature that I really didn't want to meet, especially not in my garden.
Tonight, I went out just before it became dark. Definite rustling round the shed. This wasn't a subtle animal, it was something that bumbled about and made a noise about it.
Run into the house. Torch. At last. back outside. Listen. Something near the apple tree.
Stand very still. Wait.
And there he was! With a noisy cracking of twigs and brushing of branches, out came a little snout, and the humped, prickly body of a large hedgehog. How blessed are we? A garden, roses, an apple tree, a hedgehog. Welcome, hedgehog, we are very glad of your company.