Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Some people just don’t know how to be nice, even when you save their lives . . . but maybe one day.

Mr. Ferret relentlessly pokes fun at Mr. Porcupine, who has given up trying to be nice and now just ignores the smelly weasel. Threatened by a pack of wolves, Mr. Ferret does a ridiculous weasel war dance, but Mr. Porcupine sacrifices his full body of quills to drive the wolves away. Mr. Ferret begrudgingly admits Mr. Porcupine might have saved him, but the quill-less Mr. Porcupine is already back up in his tree, sleeping.  

Mr. Ferret is a nosy know-it-all weasel that likes to tell Mr. Porcupine that he is the most preposterous creature he has ever met. Every morning he hurls insults up the tree, but Mr. Porcupine pretends not to hear. Every ounce of Mr. Porcupine’s flesh wants to throw his quills at the ferret, but he’s afraid Mr. Ferret might get hurt. Or at the very least someone around him might lose an eye. When the kindly-offered leaves and herbs do not calm the weasel, Mr. Porcupine just stays up in his tree, especially when Mr. Ferret leaves behind his potent body odor of rotten eggs.
One morning Mr. Ferret slinks by the porcupine’s tree and calls out all sorts of taunting insults. Mr. Porcupine calls back, warning him of a nearby pack of wolves he can see from his higher perspective. Mr. Ferret laughs at him, so Mr. Porcupine sighs and decides to fall back to sleep. All of a sudden, the growling wolves lope over the bank. Every quill on Mr. Porcupine’s body rises in defense. The wolves don’t see him high up in the tree, but they do charge right for the smelly weasel. Instead of running away Mr. Ferret starts a little dance—the weasel war dance. He hops and bumps sideways, clicking and hissing. He squeaks this way and that, showing his teeth, and leaving hairballs at his feet.

Although he can’t stand Mr. Ferret, Mr. Porcupine would miss their morning routine. He often wonders if Mr. Ferret really wants to be friends, but just doesn’t know how to express it.

As the wolves get closer, Mr. Porcupine sends his quills spinning down. He secretly hopes the sharp spines will poke out the eyes of the fierce wolves, and Mr. Ferret will have enough time to run. Before the wolves know what is happening, the quills strike the pack like daggers. They moan, cry, and whimper away. Mr. Ferret keeps on dancing.

Mr. Porcupine climbs down the tree with not one quill intact, explaining that he saved the ferret’s life. When he does not get a positive response, he climbs back up his tree, and shuts his eyes. Then Mr. Ferret takes a step backward and lands on a single porcupine quill. He angrily admits it might have been the porcupine that saved his life and not his dancing. Mr. Porcupine is already snoring, dreaming that his quills grow back very soon. He decides to ignore Mr. Ferret, like he does most mornings, and maybe one day the weasel will save his preposterous porcupine life in return.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

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