Hedge-Hog, the Common, or Hystrix erinaceus, L. is a quadruped, which is from nine to ten inches in length, the body is of an oblong form, entirely covered with sharp quills on its back, but with hair on the breast; the ears are broad, round, and short, and the eyes small and protuberant.
Hedge-hogs unnaturally devour their offspring, and all attempts hitherto made to domesticate them, have proved ineffectual. They frequent woods, live under the trunks of old trees, in the chinks of rocks, or under large stones. Being of a timid disposition, they proceed only at night in quest of food, which consists of fallen fruit, roots, leaves, insects, etc. It is, however, net founded on truth, that they extract the milk from the udders of cows ; as the peculiar smallness of their mouth renders the act of sucking impracticable. - They may be advantageously kept in gardens,where they will be of considerable service, by devouring many noxious insects, especially moles, mice, and snails, which last they eat with great avi-dity. - The flesh of these creatures is eatable.