The Fable of the Porcupine

Okay, okay, I give up!  So many people have requested a rerun of this post that I am finally agreeing.  If you remember it from last year, I hope you enjoy it again~

I have my brother Ted to thank for the Fable of the Porcupine:

It was the coldest winter in anyone’s memory, and one animal after another perished in the icy weather. The porcupines saw this and decided the only way they would survive is if they grouped together to share their warmth. Only trouble was, the quills of one porcupine wounded the one next to it, and that one hurt the one next to it, and so on and so on. They stayed warm, all right, but the pain they suffered was just too great. After awhile they edged away to shiver alone. But one by one, they froze to death.

Even porcupines could see that was never going to do. The only way to keep from disappearing from the earth was to move back together and put up with their neighbors’ painful quills. And that’s what they did.

So the porcupines learned to live with the little wounds caused by close relationships between companions. Even more important, they learned the gift of lifegiving heat that comes from being together.

The moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings perfect people together. It is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

Thanks, Ted. You’d make a good porcupine!


“What I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?”

Anais Nin, writer

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5 Responses to The Fable of the Porcupine

  1. Willa Coleman says:

    I to have come to love this fable; it posted on my office hall and has been for more than two years. I work in an office that has more than one person and i have come to see that this is so true.

  2. Pingback: Let the Courts Decide: | Native Animal Sanctuaries & Tribal Living Spaces; Merged

  3. Steve says:

    I believe that’s a picture of a baby hedgehog but what do I know?

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