She was born at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA at 5:47 pm on June 3, 1995.
After having the opportunity to pet a 'real' hedgehog upstairs we were browsing through the Discovery Shop and found a basket of small plush hedgehogs for only $1.50.
We used to joke that she was one of the least expensive and most expensive plushies we ever bought. (It should be pointed out here that she has always complained about being called a toy or not real. In her mind she is real.) The initial cost was minimal but all the things we bought for her over the years including her own web domain certainly added up.
We searched through the basket of hedgehogs until we found just the right one. Despite following the same template as her brothers and sisters she really was the cutest one.
When we first brought her home she had a soft beige belly and face and on her back was a black and orange fluffy furry that could be brushed out in spikes. We used to use a tooth brush to comb it out occasionally but before long it was just a speckled chocolate fuzz. She had orangish brown felt feet and cupped felt ears, two shiny black eyes and a soft black nose. A small tag was attached behind her left foot. We used to write her name and phone number on the tag but eventually it was so faded and frayed we didn't keep it up.
At home that first evening we discussed what we should name her and Dan suggested Fido. She immediately took offense and said she was not a dog and also was in fact a girl not a boy. Johanna came up with the suggestion of Fidella which like Fido refers to faithfulness. The name was accepted and her personality was already showing.
Fidella quickly showed how expressive she could be and was soon vocal in her demands and often expressed her opinions about what she liked and disliked. She could scowl with a squish of her face; She would hop and roll to show joy; Tip her head to show inquisitiveness or curiosity.
She quickly became a fan of Perry Mason largely because Perry's secretary is named 'Della' Street. She also was terrified of watching Alice in Wonderland and hated croquette because the balls are hedgehogs. Similarly she did not care for Hockey and would worry when Dan was watching it. After all those Pucks are about her size as well. Other characters she liked included Harvey the Wonder Hamster who performed daring deeds on The Weird Al Show Saturday mornings and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. I think she liked to study his bouncing technique. Fidella loved cheese and Tootsie Rolls. She would get very excited when either was around even so far as diving into the bag of Tootsie Rolls.
Fidella was pocket sized and squishable so she went everywhere with us and most especially with Dan on trips away from me so he wouldn't be lonely. Fidella's job was to always be there with him to talk to. When we went to Europe in 1998 Fidella took charge of writing our 'blog' (before the term was coined; we called it a web journal) to keep track of our adventures. Wherever we went Fidella went with us. She loved to be photographed and had a particular penchant for lion sculptures. The moment she would see a lion she would run over and jump into its mouth. We once came close to getting in trouble for it. At the Palais Royal in Paris France, there is a lion, or perhaps a few, that faces the palace. Fidella of course had to jump in its mouth and as Dan was stepping off the pedestal from retrieving her, two Gendarme walking their rounds asked, in french of course, what we were up to. Our hasty pantomime explanation got us a sad shaking of the head and a 'pauvre lion' as they continued on their way.
In 2000 Fidella got her own web domain, fidella.com. We have hosted many photo journals as well as a small voice recording of Fidella saying hello that was recorded back when we lived in Pittsburgh.
Fidella has also given life to a few other special characters in our lives. My mom Gayle made a little orange hedgehog, named Caxton after his birth place Caxton Mews. Fidella enjoyed visiting Caxton and teaching him about things like all the best places to hide and how to eat cheese. On a visit in 1999 to Pasadena with Dan, Fidella found a little penguin hanging around on Margie's bed. She immediately thought he was the perfect squishy friend to jump around and squish and thus Squishy was born with his signature call of 'Stop squishing me!'
When our children were born she welcomed them into the family and allowed them to cuddle her. She became a little less active but still as ever was our constant travel companion.
Over the years Fidella has travelled far and wide and posed herself in some pretty risky spots. Sitting on precipices, perching on railings of bridges with hundreds of feet drop, traveling on windy boats where we thought she might dive off into the water. We have long known that losing her was a possibility. Sadly the inevitable did happen. In 2011 on August 11th at 10:41 am we took our last photograph of Fidella. It was of course, with a lion.
But this is not the end...
It happened in a magical place, Legoland. When arriving at Legoland that morning Dan told the boys that if they stayed in Legoland overnight they would turn into Legos. I think Fidella must have been listening.
We had a lot of fun in the park and even after that last photograph Fidella was still hanging around with us. Around two in the afternoon we were playing in the Hideaways, a sort of wooden fort climbing area. We were ready to move on but Samuel was not. Dan gave Fidella to David and they were to stay with me while Dan went to get Samuel. David, wanting to follow Dan, tried to give Fidella to me for company but I gave her back to him and told him to stay with me. He bounced her around a bit and then set her down on the bench between us instead of holding on to her. When Samuel and Dan showed up we rushed off, not realizing she was still on the bench. Two hours later after Dan and the boys had gone to the water park and I had taken a hundred or so pictures of the model town we met up. Dan asked where Fidella was, everyone assuming one of the others in our group had her. After thinking about it and remembering the last place we had seen her, we returned to the Hideaway. We looked everywhere to see if she had been picked up and tucked in a new spot, talked to the staff in the area but no one had seen her and she was no where to be found. We filed a lost item report at the main gate. David felt terrible and we were all heartbroken to lose our companion of 16 years.
But... remember that comment Dan made that morning? If you spend the night in Legoland you might just be reborn in Lego form. And that is what has happened. It has taken much more than one night, a little over a year in fact. She went through some beta stages (2.1 , 2.2 and 2.3).
Fidella beta 2.1 was rather large and heavy. Not pocket sized at all and prone to loosing feet.
Fidella beta 2.2 was a bit more compact and still a little heavy for the pocket.
Fidella 2.3 followed the same lines as 2.2, more closely approximated her 1.0 coloring and contained a secret... Her body is hollow with a hinged lid that reveals inside...
At last Fidella 3.0 is reborn as a tiny single lego. She is now completely travel sized. Lego part ID 4648076. Weight 1.23 grams. Released 2012 as part of the new Lego Friends sets Heartlake Vet ID 3188 and Summer Riding Camp ID 3185.
I am looking forward to our travels with this now even more compact version of Fidella and her carrying case (version 2.3).
We lost our stuffed hedgehog 'Fidella' of 16 years at Legoland, California in August of 2011. We searched all over Hideaway where she was last seen and filed a lost item report at the front gate but she was never found. We have been waiting for a hedgehog Lego release and recently discovered you have made one that looks just like her in Lego miniature. Unfortunately you seem to only have released it as part of two large sets Heartlake Vet and Summer Riding Camp.
The piece is a single little hedgehog that sits on one stud. I would love to tell my kids that she has been modeling for Lego and transformed into one herself and has come home.
Subject: LEGO Direct:031714970A [EN-US]
From: "LEGO Service" email@example.com
Date: Tue, Sep 25, 2012 6:18 pm
Thank you for getting in touch with us about your missing LEGOŽ pieces.
I'm sorry that you lost the stuffed hedgehog while visiting LEGO LAND in California. I know the frustration that you may have felt when you lost it. Unfortunately we don't have any stuffed ones, but we can send you the hedgehog that is in LEGO Heart lake Vet set. I hope that I was able to help the process of replacing Fidella, and I am happy that I was able to find a miniature version of her here.
Your replacement parts will be shipped from our facility in Denmark. Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery.
Thanks again for contacting us. We are always pleased to receive feedback from LEGO fans! If you could take a moment to complete a four question survey by going to the link below, it will help us make sure we are providing the best customer service to you.
Please contact us again if you need anything else (you'll need to remind us of your reference number 031714970A). It's free to call our experts at 1-800-835-4386 (from within the US or Canada) or 1-860-749-0706 (from outside the US or Canada). Our phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8am EST to 10pm EST and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am EST to 6pm EST or you could go to service.LEGO.com which is always open!
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