Tuesday, November 14, 2017

North Birmingham Zoobrary Reporting: November’s Pet of the Month is Spike Pricklepants

by June Lacanski, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

Spike laughs at his own jokes

Interviewer: Today we are visiting with Spike Pricklepants, North Birmingham Library’s resident Hedgehog. Mr. Pricklepants, wake up please. I need to ask you some questions. Spike!
Spike: Why must you interview me during the day? You know I sleep during the day. Come back when it is darktime.

Interviewer: You seem to be awake now. So let’s get started. I have to ask you first how you got your cute and very appropriate name?
Spike: The children at North Birmingham Library named me that. Ask me why?

Interviewer: Umm, why? Because you have a prickly personality?
Spike: I do not!

Interviewer: Yes you do. But what other reason then?
Spike: Hell-o! Because I am spikey. But I’m not covered with quills. Nor am I related to a porcupine. I have hard sharp hollow hairs covering my top and sides. When I sleep or feel threatened, I roll into a ball to protect my soft belly. The End. (yawn) Now back to my nap…

Interviewer: How long have you lived at the North Birmingham Library?
Spike: (yawn) 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days as of this Thanksgiving, 2017.

Interviewer: I’ve heard of the “Terrible Two’s” when a toddler begins to be a bit more troublesome. I’m not calling you terrible, but why do you insist on relieving yourself next to your litter box the day your cage is cleaned?
Spike: I don’t do that!

Interviewer: Yes you do!
Spike: One time I didn’t!

Interviewer: Good grief, you are so argumentative! Let’s see… I am supposed to ask you something. At the end of last month’s Interview with Charlotte, I promised readers that I would ask this question: “When did you realize that your dad ate your brother?”
Spike: That is a dumb question! Hedgehogs are not cannibals! Ask Sabastian; his kind does eat their young!

Interviewer: Oh. Never mind. Ok, so what is the coolest thing that has ever happened to you at the library?
Spike: Well, once when I was young and foolish, I found my way out of my big new cage! The Silly Folks put my cage onto the floor in the Zoobrary; wasn’t that thoughtful? During the day I slept on the bookshelf where the 900 number books live. But at night, I went into my cage to eat, drink, play and relieve myself. I am the smartest animal in the library; I knew that pooping anywhere else would give me away. Besides, I am very tidy!

Interviewer: I happen to know that you are anything but tidy! Anyway, how did you end up back on a shelf in the Zoobrary?
Spike: It’s all very simple. One Monday night I went into the cage before the library closed at 8:00. The Silly Folk walked over and closed my door! Just like that, I became a caged animal again. But I really did it on purpose. I’m too smart to get caught if I didn’t want to be.

Interviewer: Yeah, right. How long were you out?
Spike: I was out for 10 days, 3 hours, 42 minutes and 16 seconds. But, you know, freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t think the Silly Folks knew there was a mouse running around loose too. He was kind of nasty and scary. I avoided him like the plague! Huh, get it? The plague.

Interviewer: Did the mouse mess with you or your cage?
Spike: No way, Jose! I flared up my spikes one time, and he vacated the whole children's area!

Interviewer: I happen to know that you are a very popular part of North Birmingham Library’s grubdown program every Tuesday afternoon at 4:00. Do you enjoy grubdown?
Spike: Heck yeah! grubdown stands for grub worms! I love grub worms!

Interviewer: Grubdown does not stand for grub worms. The program is called grubdown because as well as petting, holding, and brushing the pets, patrons get to feed them.
Spike: Well, whatever. Did you notice that I root around the ground like a pig does, sniffing for grub worms or other bugs? My nose is actually a lot like a small version of a hog. Thus, the “hog” part of my description. Then, the “hedge” part is obvious, too. Aren’t I an interesting fellow?

Interviewer: Why yes you are! Of course I have to ask your favorite book.
Spike: What do you want to ask my favorite book?

Interviewer: No, no. What is the name of your favorite book?
Spike: Well, I kind of like books about Sonic the Hedgehog.

Interviewer: Those are fiction books. Do you ever read nonfiction books?
Spike: Yes, I love nonfiction! When I was loose, I read a lot of books in the 900 area. I am pretty smart, you know. I know where I came from!

Interviewer: Really? Where did you come from? Asia?
Spike: No.

Interviewer: Well since you’re an African Pygmy Hedgehog, I’d say you came from Africa.
Spike: Nope!

Interviewer: OK, I give up. Where did you come from then?
Spike: Ha! I came from Ed’s Pets.

Interviewer: Alrighty then. You like books that teach you things.
Spike: I read all the books in the Zoobrary about my fellow pets. They are all weird!

Interviewer: They are not weird; each one is just different.
Spike: You know what’s not fair? Jabberwocki never gets waked up!

Interviewer: We don’t have to. Jabberwocki likes daylight and sleeps at night. He is diurnal.
Spike: No wonder I am grouchy! You Silly Folks wake me up all the time…you argue with me…and never put a book in my cage for me to read…before I…go…to…sleep.

Interviewer: Well I suppose that’s all the answers I’m going to get, since you have rolled up into a ball. Would you like a grub worm?
Spike: At least 7 pleassssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Interviewer: Well, thank you Spike Pricklepants. I hope the readers learned something about you today.

Please join us next month when our interviewer asks, “Do you think there is a heaven for dead rodents?”

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