Monday, January 21, 2008


When Robert found this little guy in a tree, I was reminded of the time my cousins from Seattle came to visit us. My cousins and I, teenagers, were out scrounging around in the fields, when we saw a porcupine. One of us ran to the house to get a cardboard box and a five gallon bucket. Your normal sized porky will fit in a bucket, and when you put the bucket in front of him, he'll run right in, thinking he's perfectly safe, as he knows his tail will protect his back end.

Once we had the porky in the bucket, we'd hold the cardboard close and rattle it so he'd swat it with his tail. We'd then pull all the quills out of the cardboard and hold them until we got some more.

My cousin wanted to take some real Montana porcupine quills home with her. When we had all she wanted, we dumped the porky out of the bucket and took the bucket, the quills and the box home. On the way home, my cousin closed her hand tightly around the precious quills, she didn't want to lose them. Wouldn't you know it, they got imbedded in her hand. We had to use the pliers to pull them loose!

I told her why did we bother to go get the cardboard box, if she was going to get stuck anyway? I wasn't long on sympathy in those days.

When Robert spotted this porky, he was down in a coulee about a hundred yards off the road. I jumped out of the car, the snow was deep, and slid down the barrow pit ditch, waded across a field, jumped a creek, climbed the bank on the other side to get photos of this guy. He went round and round the tree he was in, only wanting to show me the ornery quills on his rear end. It took some doing, I think I finally got him tired, before he sat still and let me take photos of his face. But it was worth it, because he has the cutest face you can imagine.

If I'd had a cardboard box with me, I'd have let him fill it with quills...

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