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Consider the Hedgehog: Musings on 2023

It’s hard to believe we’re bidding farewell to 2023 already. I’m sorry to see it go, since odd numbers are imbued with magic, especially when they’re prime, and it seems like magic is leaking out of our beautiful world at a disturbing rate (could be AI, ultra-processed food or some combination thereof). The world obviously needs all the magic it can get, but what can an ordinary individual do? I don’t think we need to be witches, warlocks, gods, giants or even believe in any of it to move the needle. It only takes acknowledging the magic all around us and finding ways to tap into it. For instance, one of my magical feats for 2023 has been learning how to negotiate with ants. As long as I leave Fat Eddy’s left-over Fancy Feast outside they don’t come in the kitchen. Now I talk to them every morning as I set out their dishes. I am learning a tremendous amount from the little pismires, and their information is more reliable and interesting than the news one gets from human sources.


There are so many ways to tap into ambient magic. Consider the hedgehog. This is an animal whose sole reason for existence is to bring blinding, stupefying, excruciating cuteness into the world. One look at her bright eyes, pointy nose and spherical, pin cushion body and time stops. You start to smile, then you look again because you can’t help yourself. If you are privileged to see her scampering about you must laugh, just for the pure joy of it. You are experiencing a moment of joie de vivre. Magic, in other words. Part of the enchantment for us North Americans is that hedgehogs don’t live here, so they seem like creatures bordering on the supernatural. Rather like wood sprites or leprechauns.


To our customers — give yourself many points whether you’ve found us recently or have remained faithful to us over the years, because yes, you’ve discovered the company that follows the path of magic, whether it’s in the creation of products, the way we treat each other or the high esteem in which we hold our wonderful customers. When we are privileged to create magic in the lab (or at home) it’s because we’ve seen the elusive hedgehog and lived fully that moment of joy. It’s possible our company is unique in being perpetually on the lookout for hedgehogs, but I suspect you who are reading this belong to the same club. Thank you for joining us.


— Marie Veronique Nadeau