Folktale Week Day 4- The Adventures of Prickle and the Fairy

The group had a lovely tea and wonderful conversation (how handy it is when everyone can understand each other). Afterwards, Prickle asked if he could poke around the cottage a bit.

"I'd love to see what's here," he said, looking at the herbs hanging and the various things placed about the small space. It was cozy and homey and the food had made Prickle feel oh so warm and he wasn't quite ready to go back out into the bright sun. Hedgehogs, when they feel safe, can be nosy creatures (in the best way) and are interested in what other folks keep in their homes. You can learn a lot about someone by looking at the things with which folks choose to surround themselves.

As he nosed about, sniffing and looking, he spied something shiny on a table in the far corner of the room. He tried shimmying up two different upholstered stools to gain a better vantage point for viewing, but realized he was going to need assistance if he was going to get close enough for prime viewing capability.

"Do you mind?" he asked Ellen, indicating his wish to get closer to the shiny thing on the table.

"Of course not," she replied, placing her hand down on the ground palm up for Prickle to amble onto.

Ellen carefully carried him over to the table and set him down gently.

"Now, let's see," he said, nosing closer. "It looks like an hourglass. Why humans put so much stock in time I will never understand, but it is a very nice piece." He gave an approving nod to Ellen's taste in knicknacks.

Prickle the Hedgehog and the Hourglass- Original Illustration by Becky MacPherson

"But wait, there is something written on it. What does this say?" Prickle indicated small, faded script at both the bottom and the top (or top and bottom depending on which way you’re looking) spelling out a single word.

"It says 'ghosts." Ellen replied.

"Ghosts? How peculiar," responded Prickle.

"Well," Ellen explained, "it's like you say. Humans put so much stock in time, but they look at the wrong parts. They spend too much time focusing on the top part of the glass, the future; or the bottom, the past; without considering that really the only part that means anything is the middle.”

She went on, “This is a reminder that if you concentrate too much on the sand yet to come or the sand already gone...it will haunt you and you'll completely miss the grain you have."

"Oh I see!" said Prickle, very much approving of this wisest of hour glasses. "If one must think of time at all, that is the way to do it."

"I thought so", said Ellen, putting her hand down again to allow Prickle to climb back on. "Now, my dear Prickle, what would you most like to do with your current grain of sand?"

Prickle considered, but not for very long. "I would like another cucumber sandwich,” he said with the definiteness that was a defining characteristic of this particular hedgehog.

Ellen smiled and escorted him back to the table. A few minutes later, Prickle confirmed that his second cucumber sandwich was delicious, but that he’d better have a third...just to be sure.