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Hedgehog
Hedgehogs were one of the many creatures that lived in the land of Narnia. While none of them are known to have played major roles in the history of Narnia, records of their existence has occurred from time to time. The two hedgehogs who are of most significance are: - an unnamed one who lived on the border of Archenland during the Golden Age, and was met by the boy Shasta. The other was Hogglestock, the only hedgehog whose name has been recorded, who lived at the time of Prince Caspian.

Origin

It is fairly safe to assume that the hedgehogs in Narnia were sung into existence by Aslan, coming up out of the ground at the creation of Narnia, along with the other animals.[1] It is unclear whether there were talking hedgehogs in Narnia right from the beginning, but there certainly were during the Golden Age, such as the one Shasta meets. Talking hedgehogs were far bigger than normal hedgehogs, and it would appear that they were nocturnal.[2]

The Historical Record

Early Narnia

We can be certain that there were some hedgehogs in Narnia from the beginning, since there is record of at least one being present at the coronation of King Frank and Queen Helen.[3]

The Golden Age

There is evidence that there were hedgehogs among those who opposed the White Witch's oppressive rule. We know that at least one hedgehog was among the animals turned to stone at the White Witch's castle. This hedgehog was still there when the girls ,Susan and Lucy Pevensie, went to the castle with Aslan, who brought the stone creatures back to life. The “other” lion, who was there, carried this hedgehog on this back, along with an number of other creatures.[4]


Perhaps the most important hedgehog in Narnian history is the one who Shasta (the boy who fled from Calormen to the North on a talking horse) met near the border of Narnia and Archenland. This hedgehog appears to have been part of a woodland community, and was on his way home to sleep, when he met Shasta. He was the first creature to be warned about the imminent attack on Anvard by Prince Rabadash of Calormen.

It is recorded that this hedgehog was surprised that Calormenes were attacking, since he had heard that Calormen was "hundreds of thousands of miles away across a sea of sand" (This hedgehog is the only one of whom some of his direct words have been recorded). While he agreed that something ought to be done to help the Archenlanders, he was not keen to do anything himself, since he was on his way to bed for a "good day's sleep". He did, however, end up being somewhat helpful to the cause, because he told the news to a passing rabbit who spread the message to other nearby creatures. Eventually, a sensible Dwarf and Stag came along, who were able to be of more practical help. The hedgehog was also the one who reminded those present that King Peter would not be found in Cair Paravel, as he was away in the North "trouncing" giants. This hedgehog was particularly fond of referring to those he met as "neighbour".[5]

Caspian's Rule

Hogglestock, who lived at the time of Caspian X, is the only hedgehog known of by name. He was one of the animals that Caspian was taken to meet to summon for the council at the Dancing Lawn, which preceded the war against Caspian’s Uncle Miraz. No detail is known about Hogglestock, other than the fact that Caspian visited him.[6] We do, however, know that a number of hedgehogs (which would surely have included Hogglestock – there seem to have been at least four others) were present at the war council.[7] There is also evidence that at least one hedgehog was present at the duel between High King Peter and Miraz.[8]


The next record we have of hedgehogs is from the time when Caspian’s son, Rilian, was kidnapped by the Queen of Underland and rescued by the two young children, Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole. After rescuing the Prince, the adventurers escaped Underland by climbing through a hole that came out in a moonlit glade in Narnia. Jill was the first to escape, and was greeted by numerous inquisitive creatures, including some hedgehogs who "came waddling as fast as their short legs could carry them".[9] After helping Jill out of the hole, the creatures dug the hole bigger, so that Eustace, Puddleglum and the Prince could fit through. At least one hedgehog contributed to this rescue, using a spade to dig.[10]

The Last Days

After this, there is very little mention of hedgehogs in Narnia, though it is likely that they continued to live on, with quiet and unobtrusive lives. There had to have been hedgehogs living in Narnia during the time of the last king, Tirian.

On the night that Tirian, Jill and Eustace sneaked up to Stable Hill to rescue the unicorn Jewel, the king noticed how strangely silent the woods were. Usually, he would have heard "the occasional 'Goodnight' from a hedgehog, the cry of an owl overhead" or the noise of fauns dancing and drums beating.[11] The fact that the greeting of hedgehogs was a normal occurrence at night in the woods implies that they were still plentiful in the area. It is probable, therefore, that the nocturnal hedgehogs of Lantern Waste were caught up with the other creatures in the con put on by Shift the Ape, who set up a false Aslan on Stable Hill.

One could assume that hedgehogs were present at some of the meetings at Stable Hill, though whether they fell for the con or not cannot be known. We do know that, as Narnia was destroyed, at least one hedgehog went through the stable door, entering on Aslan's right. This hedgehog must have been one who accepted and believed in Aslan, and entered His world at the close of Narnian history.[12]

References

  1. CS Lewis: "The Magician's Nephew", page 135-7. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  2. CS Lewis: "The Horse and His Boy", page 183. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  3. CS Lewis: "The Magician's Nephew", page 306. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  4. CS Lewis: "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe", page 188. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  5. CS Lewis: "The Horse and His Boy", page 183-186. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  6. CS Lewis: "Prince Caspian", page 91. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  7. CS Lewis: "Prince Caspian", page 96, 98. Publishers, date.
  8. CS Lewis: "Prince Caspian", page 206. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  9. CS Lewis: "The Silver Chair", page 241. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  10. CS Lewis: "The Silver Chair", page 244-245. PHarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  11. CS Lewis: "The Last Battle", page 77. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.
  12. CS Lewis: "The Last Battle", page 189-290. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.

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