Wednesday, 29 April 2009


I saw him on the grass as I was biking home in the twilight... a porcupine.  He (she?) was on the grass right off of the trail.  We both stopped what we were doing and stared at each other.  I'm sure the blinking lights on my bike were mesmerizing... he let out a sound.  I had never heard a porcupine sound before.  Like a crazy person, I talked to him... told him I was thankful to have gotten to see him tonight, that I was glad that being out later-than-intended had met with this great reward, and I told him that Jesus made him.  He replied by using his back feet to scratch his belly and his chest, then he bumbled away. First he tried to climb up an evergreen tree.  His forelegs held on to the lowest branch while his back legs scuffled the bark trying to get some traction.  No luck.  After about a minute he gave up... scratched again, let out another sound.  Then he bumbled along towards me, then veered off onto the trail and walked out of sight.  Now I was the one mesmerized watching him... I stayed until he was completely out of sight.  Though I have seen some great porcupines in the wild before, I had never had quite this kind of variety show before.  It was delightful.
So why was I so excited about a moaning, awkward, non-tenacious creature like this?  To understand my thrill, you must understand something else.  My parents had a pet porcupine before I was born.  Albert was found as a baby, starving in the garden.  My dad, always kind to animals, nursed him back to health with patience and gentleness.  In return Albert looked to my dad as his mother.  So, having heard those stories from forever, I've always had a special place for the little critters, even though I almost never saw one in the wild when I was growing up.  Then, in the days after my dad died, a porcupine hung around the farm.  And it reminded me of the goodness and kindness and gentleness in my dad.  It also reminded me of the kindness of another Father, whom I believe gave the porcupine as a gift to our family in those most difficult of days.  Evidence that even if it was a long time ago, something special and unique and happy happened in our lives... and a wonderful memory was born.
So now, spotting a porcupine gives me a thankful nostalgia, for the father who loved a starving little critter back to life, and another Father who fervently does the same.  


Kimberly White said...

So amazing how His gifts surprise us every day if we keep our eyes open. Have a day full of His blessings my friend.

Danielle said...

Aw! Sand, that's beautiful!

Julene said...

Beautiful post, Sand. I love it.