porcupines require extra grace

My husband is always making suggestions for my next blog post.  Most of his suggestions will never make it onto the pages of nolagirl’s blog.  Just to clarify..his suggestions are hilarious and thought-provoking but hard to put into words.  However,  He sent me an email earlier this week and suggested I work it into my blog.  Thanks for the suggestion Honey!!!  This one’s for you but not because you are an EGR porcupine but because it was a great suggestion. 

Do you know that porcupines require extra grace?  I admit I didn’t know much about porcupines until I began doing research for this post.  Here are a few facts concerning this rather elusive prickly critter. 

  • Porcupines are nocturnal
  • Porcupines do not hibernate
  • Porcupines can not throw their quills
  • Porcupines are herbivores
  • Porcupines are good climbers

The porcupine uses its quills for defense. The porcupine cannot shoot its quills. When a predator approaches, the porcupine will turn its back, raise the quills and lash out at the threat with its tail. If the porcupine hits an animal with its quills, the quills become embedded in the animal. Body heat makes the barbs expand and they become even more deeply embedded in the animal’s skin. If an animal is hit in a vital place it may die. The porcupine is not an aggressive animal. It will only attack if it is threatened.”

We can all act like a porcupine from time to time.  We all have a tendency to act out; we can be ornery, prickly, fussy as well as self-centered and stubborn.  From time to time we all have required a little extra grace from those around us.  EGR = Extra Grace Required!  I am no more or less of an EGR than my sister, best friend, co-worker, son, husband or a random acquaintance.  I have my moments and sometimes I even have my days of requiring extra grace. 

If you interact with people you have encountered an EGR. An EGR is a person who requires more…more time, patience and compassion.  These particular individuals are sometimes needy, a non-stop talker, angry or emotionally troubled.  They are typically dealing with a life crisis.  They are living in their moment.  They can not see passed their own personal circumstance.  They certainly do not see how their situation is affecting others.  This is where we have to offer up a little extra grace in the moment.  Lend a listening ear, determine if there is a way to help the individual, be ready to offer them a cup of coffee or piece of candy to sooth their raw nerves.  Always know your boundaries when dealing this type of person.  An EGR can and will monopolize your time and resources.  Be kind!   Be firm!

 The baby porcupines or baby hedgehogs (this is under debate) are incredibly cute and cuddly.  But eventually they will no longer be cuddly.  They will also make you a bit nervous if you encounter one in the wild.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of a porcupine in need of a little EGR…

begin forwarded email….


        Fable of the porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.  After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.  So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others.  This way they were able to survive.  Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.    
The real moral of the story……


Filed under Nature

14 responses to “porcupines require extra grace

  1. This post has given me a new perspective on a very “prickly” relationship. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good moral, Jeanne. Prickly porcupines and cacti! 😀

    This is a short excerpt from a biographical poem I wrote for my dad a few years ago:

    My dad wanted to help our great nation
    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor
    He volunteered and trained to become
    An Air Recognition Officer

    After a night shift, at the observation post,
    Rding home in the dark on his bike
    He reached down to pet a dog running by
    And just missed that porcupine’s spike

  3. Good post! Learning to live with the porcupines. Just finished a good book about the same sort of topic. Thanks for reminding of it!

    • Hi Denise, I am always looking for ways to grow in this area..both being less of an EGR and dealing with an EGR. Would you recommend the book you read? If so send the title along…

  4. Hi, I’m stopping by to visit blogs on that A-Z list. (Boy, am I slow!) I have known a porcupine or two, and they are best left alone.

  5. I’ve always found it difficult to live with “porcupine” types. I tend to back away and leave them to occupy their space. When they’re ready to be with others again…I’m available…wary…but available. I may talk and act as though I’ve the hide of an armadillo, but a harsh word can pierce my thin skin without too much effort.

    hugs…for the metaphoric philosophizing…thanks to your hubby… 😉

  6. Wow! thank you for sharing! And please thank your husband on our behalf 🙂
    Great moral conclusion…For the porcupines around us and in us.

  7. Very wise that husband of yours. This was so nicely written. Thank you for your take, the information and the story…nice, complete package.
    Reminds me of a grade school song: “Porcupines have prickly quills, don’t go near their favorite hills. If you do you’ll have bad luck, and you surely will get stuuuuck (hold on the stuuuuck).”

  8. I actually find this quite amusing… The comparisons are apt.. yet funny! Good job Jeanne. 😉

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