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All This

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Angus was sleeping soundly, all four hedgehogs tucked against his side as they sometimes arranged themselves. His hair was thick enough that he wasn't bothered by the prickles. The hedgehogs liked dozing warmly out of the wind. They rolled a short distance away when Angus was startled awake, bellowing "What's amiss then?" while he levered himself to his hooves.

Lupe blew the trumpet again. It was her current favourite instrument, brought up for any announcement or occasion. Much less startled by the sound the second time as he was awake, Angus only shook his head. "What's all this?"

"Nina found out Ferdinand's birthday," Lupe declared. "It's soon, so there's going to be a party. With cake!"

*

After so long seeing the world dimly through overlong red hair, Angus liked to keep an eye on things now that he easily could do so.

It was always an education to watch Nina and Ferdinand communicate. This seemed to be the continuation of an earlier discussion. The pair had been up on Ferdinand's hill, and Nina had wound a few flowers around his horns in early celebration.

"I'll get a picture of her," Nina said. One of the flowers fell off as Ferdinand nodded. He then swung his head, pointing with nose and horns.

"Pictures of everyone," Nina confirmed.

*

Nina arranged to have the party outside of the house. Easier for the bulls to move around, and bulls were most of the attendees as well as the guest of honour himself. There were tables set against the house's wall, and decorations on it. Nina had pasted up photos which were indeed of everyone. The one of Ferdinand's father in the ring had stickers on it, covering up the bullfighter. The photo of Ferdinand's mother, unearthed from Moreno's archives, showed a light-coloured cow standing calmly beside a fence.

The much more recent photos showed all of Ferdinand's friends and family. Nina and her father with Peco. Angus himself, of course, and all of the other bulls. Lupe, her gleaming trumpet upraised. Even the hedgehogs, although they had experienced a fit of shyness in front of the camera so were all curled up.

Later, in the middle of enthusiastic eating by all present, the hedgehogs spiked the punch. That is, having balanced themselves on the rim of the bowl, each one angled in turn to get a piece of fruit (or multiple pieces, in one case) snagged on their prickles. Dos fell into the punch but scrambled out as quickly. All the hedgehogs then retreated at speed with their loot.

Nina shook her head tolerantly, and kept on petting Ferdinand's side. The rest of the bulls, along with Lupe, were standing nearby. Angus set his nose on a second slice of cake, and wondered when his own birthday was. This was an enjoyable party for Ferdinand, and Angus wanted to experience his own event too.