Hedgehogs are a commonly occurring animal in manuscripts and bestiaries throughout the Middle Ages (and who can blame the artists for including them?).
If you’ve read our other posts about medieval manuscripts, be warned: this might be the cutest one yet.
The hedgehog then carries the grapes on its spikes back to the den where the young eats the fruit.
The oldest word for hedgehog that we can trace in historical sources is the Anglo-Saxon word “igl,” which is a Germanic word.
This word for “hedgehog” still lives on in other Germanic languages, e.g. Swedish where a hedgehog is called “igelkott.”
But throughout most of the Middle Ages, hedgehogs in English were called “urchins.”
And because people in the Middle Ages loved puns, his heraldic shield of course sported no less than three hedgehogs. »