Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three Cheers for the Porcupine!


I've always admired the porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum, a prickly critter, with a prickly personality. They don't care much for the barbs and jabs of other critters, as they are so well supplied with their own. Mostly, they keep their quills to themselves, losing a few here and there to mark their path back to their favorite piney lunch tree. They make their slow plodding way through the forest, climbing a favorite meal when hungry. It's a pleasant life; admirable, puzzling in the sex department, but they manage somehow known mostly to themselves.

Unfortunately, porcupines are a frequent target of dogs, bears and truculent children who throw rocks and poke them with sticks just to see them squirm. Their slow waddling pace, myopic eyes and single-minded determination give a false impression of stupidity, but who else knows how to make a living by hoarding bacteria to digest cellulose.

Three cheers for the porcupine,
He has his quills and I have mine.
Come on Erethizon dorsatum,
Let's get up and at 'em!

Michael