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Matters of Health: Life With You

June 10, 2015  |   Galya Morrell



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June 10, 2015   |   Galya Morrell


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May 1, 2015  |  Galya Morrell


You and I should not be together. Everyone says it! Our families don’t even talk to each other. Our life styles are like day and night different. Life with You is not easy. You and I are a strange couple. So why are we together?

You. The rest of the world knows you as Hedgehog, Spined Pork, Porc Espin, Pindswin, Igel, Erizo, Hérisson, Yozhik. But I call you “You” since you make this astonishing whistling “You-You” sound when you are caught by surprise.

In the last many years I got a habit to sleep outside, under the open sky, if circumstances permit. This summer I suddenly found out that I don’t sleep alone. A baby hedgehog found a home under my hammock. During the day he sleeps in the shade and during the night he makes quick hunting trips in the grass under me. I hear his little steps all night long, he is busy, he is at work.


Everyone says to me: “Stay away from him!” Hedgehogs are dangerous – they carry rabies and other dangerous diseases, that’s what humans say. But humans are dangerous too because they carry forks and instruments of mass destruction, that’s what hedgehogs would say if we listened to them. But somehow, You and I are friends.

You belong to the night, and I belong to the Day. You eat worms, and I eat burgers. Your body is covered by needles and my skin is soft and plain, even boring. But somehow there is an attraction between us.

I did not chose You. You chose me. And I still don’t know why…

You are so young and so small, yet You are not afraid of anything. More interestingly, You are not afraid of people. I know how shy these nocturne creatures can be … and it’s a mystery why You don’t know any fear. You stay around me all day and night – including now when I am writing these very lines…

So, this summer I am learning to look at life through the eyes of the hedgehog.

His survival skills are much better than mine. He does not need a fridge or a stove. He does not need a soap or a pillow. He can survive a long winter with no cloths on and with no heat. How does he do it? He just sleeps through the winter as if it were a very long night. Can I do it? That’s a good question.


I can learn a lot from You. I am not sure he can learn a lot from me.

If you like to read stories about survival and exploration, you need to meet You. He knows about survival and exploration much more than the greatest human explorer who has ever lived on this planed. I am learning from him every day, every night.

You, like any other Hedgehog, is territorial. But it does not mean that he can not be and explorer. You is eager to research the unknown – no matter how strange and scary it can be. So, I follow You and learn his routines. If he falls in the water, he is not upset or frustrated. He does not blame anyone, including himself. He does not lose spirits. He does not lose confidence. He does not fall into a deep depression. He gets out of the water and continues his journey.


You definitely does not have complexes. And he is not trying to impress. That’s for sure! He is not looking for fame, he is just naturally curious and resourceful.

If you want to learn more about adaptation, then again – meet You. He can adapt fast without tormenting his little heart – he is not afraid of the change. Life is an every day adventure for him – and not a torture.

So, why You has shown up in my life and what does it all have to do with the Matters of Health? I think the answer is simple. Someone has sent him to me as a reminder that we, proud humans, are not the only ones in the universe. In the end, we will be gone, and hedgehogs will stay. As will stay bugs and others for whom we don’t have neither admiration nor respect. But if this is true, this means only one thing: we need to keep learning, one from each other, tirelessly, ardently. With no prejudice or fear in mind. Because then we have a hope.


Thank you to all those who continue to support my work and occasionally are crazy enough to jump into a frozen river to see if the whole thing is real!

© Copyright 2010 Galya Morrell. All rights reserved.

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