Horsey Therapist

Friday, October 20, 2006

An old porcupine story

I lifted this story (my story) from a website I partially created once upon a time. I remembered it when I saw the porcupine recently, waddling nonchalantly across the dirt road. I did, by the way, keep some quills as a reminder of this fine being, and incorporated them harmlessly into a hat band.


I have a drawing not a photograph of Porcupine [not transferable from other website], and a story to share, written in January 2001...

I've been visited by a dying animal, again. Last year it was a mouse that lay in my path and invited me to be with it while it died.

Today it's been a porcupine. And it's still dying. I've talked to him, sat with him, breathed with him, cried with him. I have never been near a porcupine before, and didn't want to risk the quills or else I would have picked him up and held him in my lap. When he was still able to crawl, he kept moving himself to face me, creeping close. I let him come within a couple feet then moved my upturned bucket back a little, apologizing with an explanation of my concern with his quills.

I called the police who sent word out to the game warden, but I didn't hear back from anyone. I was hoping they'd have a way to euthanize him.

I get the sense he's an old fellow, has enjoyed his life around here. I first saw him just before Christmas, waddling along the road that passes my house. I hadn't known they are nocturnal animals, or I would have been surprised that he was out in the day.

This afternoon his moving appeared difficult but he waddled from in front of the next house down, to in front of my drive, with a few criss-crosses along the way. And now, for the past few hours, he's been lying in the snow, breathing, occasionally moving his head or forearms. I feel so helpless. I'd still be out there sitting with him if I hadn't gotten so cold.

I keep going out to check on him and let him know it's okay. One time I find him still, totally still. I shine my flashlight and look closely. No breathing, no eye movement. He's gone. I wish him well and thank him for his efforts to be near me in this unusual way. And I cry.


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