Alfie and I used to walk in the woods behind our house when we lived in Belgium, right from him being a young puppy. We used to see all sorts of wildlife and began to imagine the life they were all leading. We rescued Hedgehog from being stuck in a fence one day and laughed that he was trying to escape from somewhere. It was only natural, when a helicopter was circling later on, to assume they must be looking for Hedgehog. Then the question was simply where he was escaping from and why?
The plan of the wood as described in the book is exactly the plan of the woods we used to walk. There were some very dense parts and it was only natural to assume that was the location of the woodland prison. There are one or two characters included that we didn’t see there. However, the moles were definitely busy undermining anything they could and the security buzzard was normally on patrol. Nicole, the red squirrel did used to come to our bird table on a regular basis and I used to love watching her.
Children’s or Adult’s Book?
It probably ought to be a children’s book, but it’s for adults too. It’s pure escapism for adults. Hedgehog was a hardened criminal before he turned over a new leaf. He was involved in money laundering and computer crime. Although children will enjoy the book and there is nothing in it which is inappropriate, the humour and some of the situations may be lost on them.
As for the acorns – you’ll have to ask Alfie. He’s always had a weakness for nuts and no amount of my telling him that acorns were bad for him made any difference. He really could smell them out at 100 paces and was regularly grubbing around in the soil to see if he could find one to eat. It was only later that I realised they could be toxic for dogs, but thankfully they didn’t do him any harm.
You can find Alfie’s Woods HERE