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March 25, 2024 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Woman mistakes bobble for baby hedgehog and rushes it to Cheshire animal hospital. "Volunteer Danielle Peberdy, 36, said the kind-hearted woman had done the right thing in not ignoring a hedgehog out in the day. She said: "Hedgehogs shouldn't be out in the day so she did the right thing; the only problem was that it was a bobble.""
posted by fight or flight (49 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I'm so glad she rescued that poor tribble.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:18 PM on March 25 [19 favorites]

Aww! What a great story. I would much rather live in a community where people err on the side of "rescuing" a pompom vs leaving a baby hedgehog to die. I love the response of the animal rescue, too.
posted by rpfields at 1:24 PM on March 25 [27 favorites]

beat that, crouton-petters!
posted by lalochezia at 1:32 PM on March 25 [28 favorites]

For large values of "only."
posted by rhizome at 1:35 PM on March 25 [5 favorites]

I am delighted by this.
posted by maryellenreads at 1:41 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]

Added the crouton petting tag.
posted by fight or flight at 1:42 PM on March 25 [16 favorites]

What is the food on the plastic lid?
posted by May Kasahara at 1:45 PM on March 25

For some reason I am reminded of a weeklong Bloom County series, called "The Great Bloom County Snake Massacre". The gang thinks they see a big snake in the swimming hole, and divvy themselves up and arm themselves with clubs and sticks and things and spend a week hunting it down.

The very last panel is a post shot of the team standing as if posing for a picture, and there is a caption:

"Now, if there are those who doubt the worldly significance of the Great Snake Massacre, there are also those who know that life's greatest joys are its minor triumphs. It is to this latter group that we dedicate that day in which the all-volunteer group of fearless snake slaughterers succeeded in beating senseless a battery cable from a '73 Pinto."

....Berkeley Breathed has since shared that people quoted that back to him at every book signing, while all his more obviously satirical stuff, they barely remembered. "As I write stories for books and movies now, I ponder that often."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:51 PM on March 25 [30 favorites]

What is the food on the plastic lid?

Probably wet cat food, a recommended food for wild hedgehogs (but not wild hat bobbles).
posted by fight or flight at 1:55 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]

We weren't allowed pets growing up. To cope I kept small fuzzy inanimate objects in boxes and pretended to feed them. (Stuffed animals never hit the same, for some reason.) Protip: a spiralled pipe cleaner in an Altoids tin makes an excellent pet for on the go, especially useful at school. A single chocolate chip makes an excellent meal.

Anyway, this is great.
posted by phunniemee at 2:02 PM on March 25 [31 favorites]

This is so cute I'm going to die!
posted by a faded photo of their beloved at 2:02 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]

Am I the only one who just learned what a bobble is? ("a small ball made of strands of wool used as a decoration on a hat or on furnishings.")
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 2:13 PM on March 25 [14 favorites]

I didn't know the difference between a puggle and a bobble, until today. Or a womble, for that matter.
posted by The Half Language Plant at 2:19 PM on March 25 [9 favorites]

Am I the only one who just learned what a bobble is?

Thought it might be a baseball in the fielderʻs glove that shoulda caught it.
posted by Droll Lord at 2:20 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]

I don't think I would ever mistake a bobble for a hedgehog.
posted by neuron at 2:29 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]

I didn't know they were called bobbles, either - wife and I just refer to them as "puffs" on hats.

As for the mistaken identity - well, of course I am sympathetic to the person who "rescued" the lil' bobble - but...confusing a bobble with a living animal seems a stretch.

Ah well - still a cute story!
posted by davidmsc at 2:37 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]

I knew a woman whose mother was cutting up stuff for dinner when the knife slipped and slammed into her wrist. She dropped the knife and clapped a dish towel over the wound with as much force as she could and yelled to her husband that they needed to go to the ER RIGHT NOW! At the ER, they got her in a room with support personnel removed the towel and… found the slightest of scratches. She said to the doctor “I feel like an idiot.” He said “you would have been more of an idiot if it had gone the other way. Count your blessings.” Then he applied a band-aid.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:40 PM on March 25 [23 favorites]

In Canada we call them Pom Poms. I believe Bobble is a UK thing. Here's a story from the great Bob Mortimer about one time he wore a Bobble Top, which I assume is a toque with a pom pom on top.
posted by dobbs at 2:43 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]

I hope the person who brought the bobble in is the kind of person who laughs easily at themselves. I think it would be pretty hard to make a silly mistake like this, and have it become international news.
posted by Well I never at 2:43 PM on March 25 [9 favorites]

Seconding “pompoms”, as a Canuck
posted by sixswitch at 2:52 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]

I am so enthusiastic about this story, how everyone behaved, the writing itself, so sweet and gentle ... imagine a world where this is what makes up our daily headlines
posted by Illusory contour at 3:20 PM on March 25 [17 favorites]

Mercy and comedy in one story, without a distressed hedgehog.

May all future news be so.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 4:11 PM on March 25 [10 favorites]

New Zealander. Would also call the ball of wool on top of a hat a pom pom.

Also regret to inform that here in Aotearoa, hedgehogs are a noxious pest, voraciously consuming lizards, native insects and the eggs of ground-nesting native birds. They have no predators here and the winter is mostly wild enough that they don't even hibernate and are more fertile than in colder climes. But the Beatrix Potter pro-hedgehog propaganda is extremely effective and most people see Mrs Tiggywinkle instead of a cruel predator. I actually know someone who helps at an illicit hedgehog rescue operation.

I found a small hedgehog on the patio this summer, gasping in the heat (it was exceptionally hot and dry). Mammal to mammal sympathy kicked in and I sprayed it with cold water and left water in a dish for it. Couldn't bring myself to dispatch it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:37 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]

This is amazing. I did not know until now that I needed to read about a woman who mistook a pompom for a baby hedgehog and rushed to get it medical help. Honestly this is just so cute!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:00 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]

Clearly, NZ needs to pack up its feral hedgehogs in newspaper-lined cardboard boxes with little dishes of cat food and ship them to the UK.
posted by rory at 5:09 PM on March 25 [12 favorites]

I've never heard of bobble except as a verb. (Thankfully, the article used the term pom-pom.) I've also never seen a hedgehog except in a comic drawing. I also also have never heard of a Womble and had to Google it.

All that said, the photo is clearly of an elderly Tribble.

I'm so glad this is being taken as sweet and delightful rather than people making fun of the woman's mistake.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:13 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]

♪'Making good use of the things that we find.
Things that the everyday folks leave behind.'♫
This was a good reminder to watch some Wombles.
posted by neonamber at 5:24 PM on March 25

Barely a thought here that somewhere in Cheshire there is a bobble hat which is now bobble-less. A mere hat now.
posted by biffa at 5:24 PM on March 25 [5 favorites]

I like to think it’s the woman calling in who turned out to be a wig.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:42 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]

Here is another "Wombles" video -- "Remember You're a Womble"

Chris Spedding was generally in that band, but as far as my research as indicated, it was mostly Steeleye Span playing in that instance? I'm not completely sure, though.

Weird children's programming is my jam.

Anyway, this is an adorable story and I love that this person wanted to do the right thing even if it was wrong. Let's all be more like that.
posted by edencosmic at 5:58 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]

Can't tell if she's watched too much or too little of Auntie Mabel
posted by McBearclaw at 6:29 PM on March 25

So, the bobble, will it be fostered? Could it be adopted?
posted by theora55 at 7:29 PM on March 25 [6 favorites]

In Australia, we call the woollen thing on top of hats "pom poms"
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 10:54 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]

I'm glad the lost bobble was brought in out of the cold and given some affection. I vote the lil' fuzzball be adopted as a mascot for the Hedgie Rescue.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:32 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]

Bobble hats are just a UK thing? I thought it was a whole kind of sub-culture.
posted by Phanx at 11:35 PM on March 25

And then there is the sub-sub-culture. I type of course of the Hoxton Bonnet.
posted by biffa at 2:00 AM on March 26

Mod note: [btw, this post has won the "Best Fluffy Thread About Fluffy Threads" award of the day, along with several other official accolades, and is thus featured on the sidebar and Best Of blog.]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:20 AM on March 26 [13 favorites]

Deeply appreciated, taz!

Regarding wombles, I used to know one of the animators of the original stop motion wombles series (father of a childhood friend of my sister's). He had the original Great Uncle Bulgaria (or possibly Tobermory?) in a glass enclosure in the front hall. Every time we visited he (the womble) would be in a different pose, occasionally being menaced by a member of the Postman Pat cast. It was both confusing and delightful for my young mind.
posted by fight or flight at 5:03 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]

I've learned that baby hedgehogs are generally born mid-summer, so if you are ever on the fence about whether your rescue is a real baby hedgehog or an impersonator bobble, consider the month.

July? A) Hedgehog birthing season in the northern hemisphere, and usually B) not woolen beanie-wearing season. Probably a baby hedgehog.

March? A) Still prime chilly head weather in many places, and B) not hoglet whelping time. Probably a bobble.

Hope this helps!
posted by taz at 5:33 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]

As a knitter, I think of bobbles as those three-dimensional round shapes created on the surface of knitted items by knitting multiple times into the same stitch, rather than free-standing structures, but I suppose those deserve rescue efforts, too.
posted by praemunire at 7:40 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]

In Australia, we call the woollen thing on top of hats "pom poms"

Yes we do, although a hat with a pompom affixed is indeed a bobble hat unless it's a beanie.

The faux hedgehog in question is not a pompom, though, because pompoms are made of yarn and that one is clearly fake fur. I'm calling it a fluffet and nobody can stop me. And furthermore: if it was a hot dog it wouldn't be a sandwich.
posted by flabdablet at 8:15 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]

As a Brit, I'm used to "bobble" meaning a hair tie, embellished or otherwise. A bobble hat is a hat with a pom pom on it, but I don't think most people would call the pom pom a bobble.
posted by quacks like a duck at 12:53 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]

We should also note that these bobbles are sometimes detachable (using a press stud), and can come off unexpectedly, which is what seems to have happened here.

As for the story... it's all a wind-up, surely. Nobody would seriously confuse an inanimate fluffy bobble with a living, wriggling, spiky hedgehog. Someone was playing a harmless prank on the wildlife rescue people, with the dish of catfood for verité.

(I'm glad to have seen two hedgehogs in the wild: one in a garden in Christchurch, New Zealand, and one beside the road in Shetland. Both equally cute, but I get why Kiwis would look at them askance. Foxes are cute, too, but not where they don't belong.)
posted by rory at 3:48 AM on March 27

Please enjoy this photo of my dog tormenting a black and gold baby hedgehog. A professional photographer once said it is a pretty good photo.
posted by hypnogogue at 7:03 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]

Back in the worst of the pandemic, when I was doing my best to teach college non-terribly over Zoom, I asked students to either keep their camera on, or if they didn't want to do that, at least upload a picture of either themselves or something that represented them, so that I and their classmates had something to associate with their name other than a black rectangle.

One student uploaded a picture of a crocheted hedgehog that she had made herself. When I saw this article I thought immediately of her and forwarded it, from whence I'm told it cause great delight and made the rounds to all of her family and friends. Last night she played a concerto with our college orchestra and I met her whole family. Her mom heard my name and her face lit up, "oh you're the department chair who e-mails hedgehog news stories!"

It was just the one, I swear. But you know what? There are worse reputations to have.
posted by dr. boludo at 1:16 PM on April 3 [7 favorites]

I made a crocheted hamster in the pandemic and set up a fake hamster cage behind me on Zoom. Alas, nobody ever noticed it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:41 PM on April 3 [4 favorites]

They're talking about this on "Bluff the Listener" on WAIT WAIT DON'T TELL ME right now!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on April 6

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