There was once an hedgehog. A simple, but in many ways, a very wise hedgehog, called Peelhan. Little, prickly hedgehogs from every corner of the countryside used to come to hear his humble words.
One such address stuck with me like no other hedgehog address I had ever heard. It saved a lot of minds and bodies that day.
It was a dusk address in the copse of Mitton’s farm. The gathering of so many of my fellows filled my heart with joy.
“Tonight, I want to talk about how you can climb out of pain,’ Peelhan began when we had finished our raucous greetings.
“There will be days, dear sons and daughters of the hedgerow, when,
The sun will lose its shine, appearing black and hateful.
Days when the rain will pelt down, as opposed to gentle, refreshing fine droplets.
When the death knells of the human country churches will mix with your own loss and begin to feel like tinnitus in your heart.
There will be evenings when you will look to the end of your journey, rather than unravelling to the start, to see how to better your adventure.”
He stopped to catch his breath.
“Though, I want you to remember
One tiny piece of thought:
This from a humble hog, who
Grasped little the teachers taught.
Treat pain, in whatever it’s disguise, as you should the human roadways: wait for the terrible, growling vehicles to pass before considering moving onwards. If not, you will undoubtedly be squashed as flat as stupid thought. The tyres of pain being the last mark left across your smashed body. Though, if you slow down your eagerness to cross, taking calming breath, you will see the pain, like the dreadful vehicles, as rushing around you, you will feel that when the hurt and the automobiles pass, to leave a quiet mind and road, you will be able cross with confidence to a newer field.”
I listened that day, then left beaming with my father and mother. Both had never seemed more content.
Later that month, however, my beautiful mother died. And, although it was of natural causes and she was peaceful, it was no less devastating to my father and me. It felt like we were being dragged into a swollen river and beaten off huge rocks of misunderstanding.
Then it was, during a summer storm, that I remembered brother Peelhan’s words. As much as I wanted to wallow in the pain to keep my mother close, I knew she would’t want that at all. She would want us smiling. So, Dad and I tried to imagine the pain was like cars. It wasn’t easy, but, we wanted the terrible hurt to end so much, therefore we persisted and persisted, until over time, the heavy web of pain frayed until it fell apart all together. Until the rush of heavy, thunderous traffic and screams of hell died down enough for us to cross.
Mum would’ve like that, I’m sure.
I felt lighter and stronger. I was ready to deal with anything afterwards.
All thanks to one, wise hedgehog.
I am Benny Hedghog.