Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bubble, ooze & drip

At the LRB, Tom Paulin considers the letters of Ted Hughes. It seems to me there are many reasons I would be interested to read this volume of selected letters, one of them being that Hughes clearly writes incredibly well about animals. One night in 1950, says a letter Paulin quotes, Hughes
heard a commotion in the hedge, and after a while, out trundled a hedgehog, merry as you like, and obviously out for a good time. I thought he might make a jolly companion for an evening so I brought him in. After a while I noticed he had disappeared and later heard a noise just like the sobbing of a little child, but very faint, and it continued for long enough. I traced it to a pile of boxes, and there was my comrade, with his nose pressed in a pool of tears, and his face all wet, and snivelling and snuffling his heart out. I could have kissed him for compassion. I don’t know why I’m so sympathetic towards hedgehogs.

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