The Tale of Martin the Engagement Hedgehog
The little silver hedgehog had been sitting on the shelf, in the corner shop called The Little Shop of Plot Bunny Horrors, for quite a while now.
Now most people would find the name of the shop intriguing and would, inevitably, find themselves walking in, browsing amongst the bookshelves or the little knickknacks and accessories being sold. This was more like an odds n’ ends shop, a place to find the unique and unusual and the one of a kind.
Mind you, it was not a shop that dealt in anything sinister. Oh no - you’d have to walk a bit to find that sort of place - do be careful and try to walk by as quickly as you can if you do see it. Don’t even look in the windows - it’s not worth it, believe me! No matter how tempting the item could be, the price you’d need to pay would inevitably be more than you’d actually want to part with.
No, The Little Shop of Plot Bunny Horrors, despite its unusual name, was a nice place, a safe place. The Shop Owner does not suffer any nonsense of the Dark sort in here at all - in fact, she had sent the Owner of that Terrible Other Store fleeing in terror. She may even put him out of business soon.
But we digress and we’re really telling the Story of the Little Silver Hedgehog.
He was a bit nervous when he first came to the store and he didn’t know if he’d ever be bought by anyone. After all, who would want a silver hedgehog, even though he could actually be used to hold at least one tiny piece of jewelry - perhaps a pair of earrings or cufflinks or even a ring?
There were other, prettier pieces out there, of course. Bigger jewelry boxes that would hold far more items. Or animal figures that were considered far more attractive than one lowly little hedgehog - bunnies and cats were rather popular with little girls, for example.
So the little hedgehog was quite resigned to sitting quietly on the shelf, gathering dust, even maybe losing his shine after a while, because silver does tarnish in the end.
But then Somebody finally bought him.
And it wasn’t just anybody - why, it was that Consulting Detective person that was being spoken of all over London, Sherlock Holmes! The little Silver Hedgehog was quite beside himself. He rather liked the way the Detective smiled at him - it was a fond, affectionate expression and he said, “You’ll do quite well, I think.”
And so, the little Silver Hedgehog would soon learn that he was to be a present and that he would be asked to keep a ring. It was a man’s ring, made of platinum and striped dark blue along the edges to complement the tiny dark blue sapphire in the middle. The Hedgehog resolved that he would safely keep the treasure entrusted to him and wished that he could tell the fretting Detective that there was no doubt that his Dr. Watson would quite obviously say “Yes.”
Since he could not, of course, say a single blessed word, he simply resolved to be the best Ringbearer he could possibly be.
However, before the little Silver Hedgehog could be safely presented to his new owner, several Terrible Things happened and it wasn’t until the good Dr. John Watson had finally opened his eyes and all knew that he would safely recover from his gunshot wounds, that Sherlock finally asked The Question and presented the little Silver Hedgehog with the Ring in his keeping.
The little Silver Hedgehog was rather delighted to be christened Martin. That he actually merited a Name - why, that was just wonderful. He never even thought he’d be granted a name to begin with.
The Hedgehog would eventually be joined by a little Silver Otter, who was promptly christened “Benedict” by John Watson. Sherlock threatened to sulk over this, and both the Silver Otter and Hedgehog were not sure why.
"Either I name him Benedict or Sherlock - take your pick," John would tell Sherlock cheerfully.
"For the last time, I do not resemble that bloody ginger actor you and Molly are all so twitterpated about - “
"Excuse me - that’s just Molly. I just agreed that he resembled you -"
" - and I do not, in any way, look like a fuzzy semiaquatic mammal!”
"It’s a fandom thing, Sherlock - I got all these bloody hedgehog pictures - "
"Well, I see the resemblance there - "
"So if I get to be a hedgehog -you just need to get over yourself and accept…er… Otter-dom.”
At which point, Sherlock was pulled down by his scarf so that his fiance could give him a very thorough snog and the argument was quite forgotten. The little Silver Hedgehog noted that John Watson seemed rather expert at this human ritual called snogging. He was regularly able to render Sherlock quite pink-cheeked and speechless at the end. Sometimes, these types of discussions were often followed by a trip to Sherlock’s bedroom, at which Rather Interesting Noises could be heard.
The Skull was happy to enlighten Martin of these escapades, being as The Skull had witnessed many of these events in the Living Room when the Boys could not be bothered to make it into the vicinity of the bed. The poor little Hedgehog promptly wished that he had the ability to blush, which made the Skull giggle delightedly in amusement.
For the record, Benedict the Silver Otter was brought in by Mummy’s Wedding Planner - Sherlock could never be bothered to remember the woman’s name, although it was obvious that she seemed to be a fan of John’s blog and was in on the whole Sherlock Otter and John Hedgehog Thing that seemed to be going ‘round on the Internet. The Wedding Planner had proposed that instead of the traditional “Groom” figurines on the wedding cake, they’d use the Otter and Hedgehog instead. And John thought that was a lovely idea and Mummy was quite tickled to hear about the whole joke.
Between the two of them, Sherlock was quite doomed.
Now Benedict was an affable fellow, a bit clumsy, bumbly but generally good-natured and made for an agreeable companion. The one time Martin actually gotten short with him (because Otters are generally restless, rambunctious creatures always wanting to play and even Hedgehogs need their sleep), Benedict had gotten so miserable that Martin forgave him immediately. Martin was not proof against Otter Misery, even ones made out of Silver.
Both of them performed their Wedding Cake duties quite admirably, though Martin was terrified that they would be stolen by some light-fingered wedding guest the entire time. It was the little girl who everyone called “The Duckling” who made sure they would be kept quite safe and happily returned them to Sherlock and John once they returned from their honeymoon.
Martin and Benedict would take their place on the mantel beside the Skull, who was rather chuffed to get some new companions.
Many years later, Martin, Benedict and The Skull would become the faithful companions of little Hamish Siegfried Watson-Holmes, as he built his little Lego worlds. The Skull sometimes played Pirate Lair, Complete Evil Monster Villain and Tragically Misunderstood and Will Be Redeemed Evil Villain. Martin and Benedict would go on their numerous adventures as Captain and Chief Medical Officer, Detective and Doctor, Jedi Knights and what not.
It was, to be sure, the very happiest of happy endings indeed.
Note the First: This one is for you, ihnasarima, owner of the Little Shop of Plot Bunny Horrors! :)
Note the Second: Was I making a Stephen King “Needful Things” reference? Maaaaaybe. *wicked grin*
Note the Third: I meant to do something angsty this week but this time, the Fluff Bunnies took over. Plot Bunnies, Unpredictable horrors the lot of them! *sniffs*
Ebay for the Silver Otter
John Watson picture