Pain of the Porcupine

That is a small portion of the total. The question is, does anybody know what good is a porcupine? I’m not referring to making soup or roasting them. I want to know of some good reason for not exterminating the lot of them.

Porcupines do make good fisher cat food – but fishers will eat plenty of other things.

They girdle trees – that is not a good reason for their existence.

They chew through doors and walls – those are not good reasons for their existence.

They destroy tools – certainly not a good reason for porcupines.

They catwal in the night – but they are terrible singers and off key.

They make frequent and messy road kill – they’re no match for steel belted radials.

They entice dogs – that is definitely not a good reason for their existence.

So… if you know of a good reason for their continued existence, let me know.

“Perhaps porcupines are an example of divine sick humor.”

31°F/19°F, 1″ Light rain in the morning, Snow, Overcast

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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18 Responses to Pain of the Porcupine

  1. Granny says:

    I googled the porcupine to see if I could find any redeeming qualities. Nope, except possibly to a porcupine of the opposite gender and even then, it’s touchy.

    My first visit. I’d enjoy having you visit me. I ran into you at witches cottage. You were commenting about sore muscles.

  2. Granny says:

    Me again. I just looked more closely at your profile. I thought I was the only one who would mention Tchaikovsky and ABBA in the same paragraph. Evidently not.

  3. ranch101 says:

    Their quills are good for decorative beadwork. That’s as good as I could come up with. Who did you take those quills out of?

    Happy Boxing Day.

  4. KS Milkmaid says:

    They make great literary metaphorical tools. Milkmaid says to milkman, “Loving you is about like trying to hug a porcupine.”

    Pretty lame, but it is all I could come up with. I do use this metaphor often.

  5. Chuck says:

    And a belated Merry Christmas to you to, Walter

  6. Ellen in Conn says:

    I once read a book called “How to spank a porcupine”, about having a porky-pet. As I recall, it sounded like a baby one could be rather a nice pet, until it needed to go back to the wilderness. I think they are rather cool, and also a good test of a dog’s learning capacity. My dog did it only once.

  7. TalaMuir says:

    As far as I’m concerned they are useless. One of the worst sounds in the world is a dog in pain while you are pulling those quills out of their snout.

    a belated happy Christmas to you!

  8. Urban Agrarian says:

    Does this mean that the cute puppy we saw a few days ago in the barrel with his mom has been playing with a porcupine?

  9. Rurality says:

    They’re just cute!

    Plus I agree with the beadwork idea.

    We don’t have them in the south. On our one extended trip up north we only saw roadkill porcupines, sadly.

  10. pablo says:

    Never mind the quills. Watch out for falling Vermont rocks!

  11. The quills came out of Cinnamon and Kita. Kira, who was peaking out of the barrel with Kia did not go on this little walk-about.

    Cinnamon, who hasn’t touched a porcupine in about seven years, had almost all the quills. It looked like he bit the porcupine. I hope he killed it. I removed a large number of quills from inside his mouth.

    Kita, big strong Kita, tough and tumble Kita only had 12 quills but she was total wimp about the process. Normally she, like the other dogs will sit and hold still for me when I remove the quills. This time I had to hog tie her and muzzle her in order to take out a measely 12 quills. If she had cooperated it would have only take a minute or two.

    My guess is the porcupine was more active in the warm weather we had. It got up above freezing the other day. Unfortunately they seem to be increadibly tempting to otherwise highly intelligent dogs. Dumb.

    Rurality, where should I ship your porcupines to? :)

  12. patina says:

    oh here it comes. a large confession. i am working on a roadkill calendar for 2007 and the mere mention of a perfectly postured porcupine portrait has me giddy. other than as a subject for said calendar, i could think of no other redeeming qualities.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I cannot find info re best bait to use in my live humane trap to catch that $#&*%* porcupine chewing my tamaracs..Anyone with the bait? john in Indian island New Brunswick

  14. John, I don’t know what is the best bait but Please do not release the porcupine if you catch it! You should kill it. If you catch and release you risk spreading disease to someone else’s land and you are dumping your problem in someone else’s lap. Just because you don’t see a house around does not make it right to release there. This is a sore subject with me.

  15. Jack Maine says:

    Porkipines have got ot be one of the most useless animals in existance. They are weeds. They kill and maim healthy trees andspread disease. Good thing is they breed slowly and you can kill them off from an area.

  16. Erica says:

    I must agree that porcupines are a nuicense. They severely damage trees in addition to being a pest to other animals. Porcupines also chew out doors, ax handles, walls and anything else they can find.

  17. Farmerbob1 says:

    Well, trying to be serious here, Walter, they are rodents, so they will eat damn near anything. The saltier, the better. Scavengers are handy to have around, though I’m certain you would be far happier with rabbits and rats that your dogs could eat, instead of prickle pigs.

    Nature kept porcupines around for a lot of the same reasons that pigs made it to the modern day. They are survivors. Even if you hate them, you’ve got to respect a critter that developed into such a nasty bundle of spikes that almost nothing will attack them.

    Have you considered training your dogs to track them, and just going out with a rifle every now and then with the dogs to clean out the area? Two birds with one stone. An opportunity to train your dogs to come get you when they find one, and the opportunity to depopulate the area. Or are they protected?

    • Actually, Nature doesn’t keep something around. It merely survives. As much as I like to learn lesson’s at the knees of Mother Nature I do keep in mind that she has neither compassion nor a plan.

      We have hunted them.

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