Into the Night
Mike, the hedgehog, was out late evening looking for food. It was getting dark too fast, almost like someone was playing a trick on him. He was afraid of the darkness. "Darkness is uncertainty; darkness can hide all kinds of threats, like this tiger sitting in the tree — oh, it is just a carving someone made on a hike, how barbarously," - came through the hedgehog's mind. Suddenly, his train of thought was interrupted by a crow's cry, and then he heard another, and another. "It sounds like there is a murder," - Mike says to himself, too quiet, almost like he is afraid of the sound of his voice. He cannot pretend that he does not hear this. A chill went up through the hedgehog's spine — another "kraa" rings through the air. Mike considered returning to his warm nest, and, after a short period of hesitation, decided that his hunger is stronger than his fear of crows, darkness, and whatever other filthy omens can be hiding in the woods.
"Just an apple, or maybe a mushroom," - the hedgehog keeps repeating to himself, trying to focus on the task at hand. He draws upon his memory, reassuring himself with past instances of all the times he was out at night looking for food, and how nothing had happened to him. He expects to find these thoughts comforting, but instead obsesses over everything that could've happened to him, like that one with the cage. The time when he almost got caught. "Hey, who do we have here?" - Mike's reliving of the cage incident was interrupted by a voice too close and too loud for comfort. The hedgehog felt like the air explode around him. Then, an unbearably bright light blinded him.