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The History of Hubert the Hedgehog

One day Hubert was huddled with his family in their home in Jihlava (derived from the German word for Hedgehog – along the border of Bohemia and Moravia), Czech Republic, when they received a letter from their cousin living in America. Hubert’s papa opened the envelope to find a note that read:

Dear Cousins,
I hope all is well back home! I moved out to Cedar Rapids, Iowa a few months ago and it has been great! If you ever find yourself in America, you should stop by. The neighborhood has been developing like crazy! The home next door just planted some more hedges and bushes the other day.
Love,
Cousin Hana

Hubert couldn’t really imagine living anywhere else. It would be scary to leave the home you grew up in to move to a completely different country. Hubert thought that he would never have to deal with that!

But a few days later, disaster struck! Their home was among a row of bushes situated in the backyard of a house that was just sold to a new owner. Apparently, they did not like the look of the bushes and had them all removed, leaving Hubert and his family without a home! They had heard of this happening to other hedgehog families in the neighborhood, but they thought they would be sparred. (This is actually a huge problem in the Czech Republic with their hedgehog population. This leaves Hedgies without anywhere to hide and then they get hit on the road.)

Papa thought back to the letter from Cousin Hana and decided that they were going to try their luck in Iowa!

It took them several weeks to travel from Jihlava to Cedar Rapids. They had to go through several other cities, including a stop in New York and Chicago, but they finally found themselves in Iowa. Unfortunately, the area Cousin Hana lived in was all full, so they looked around other areas in Cedar Rapids before finding a nice bush. It was in the Czech Village neighborhood. Hubert felt a bit more comfortable when he heard that name. It reminded him of home.

Hubert’s family was comfortable in their new home, but Hubert found himself feeling kind of lonely without his friends. Until one day he found new ones at the NCSML!

That’s how Hubert became the museum’s mascot!

The Facts:
Like Mana and other immigrants, there are loads of reasons that folks move from place to place. Sometimes it’s like Hubert and there was a disaster or Mana, whose father got a job in Cedar Rapids. It used to take a lot of time to travel from one country to another.

Hedgehogs are actually in danger in the Czech Republic and other European countries. They tend to like to huddle in piles of sticks that people may have built to create a fire or bonfire. https://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/zdena-dvorska-saving-hedgehogs-since-1970

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