November 09, 2010

The Porcupines - 1999

written for Noa as a night time story. Segev was less than a year old.

One day in a small part of the forest, behind some bushes and inside an old hollowed out tree, seven baby porcupines were born to Mr. and Mrs. Porcupine.
They lived happily in the forest eating all manner of little tid bits - nuts and berries that had fallen from the trees and bushes. They were very happy and so they decided to share their happiness and have children.
On the day that Martha Porcupine gave birth birth to her seven little porcupines - Nahum, Elisa, Shenhav, Kalya, Shoval, Noa and Segev, everyone in the forest was very excited because the Porcupines had so many good friends.

Perhaps she had miscounted she thought. "Perhaps you've miscounted, Martha" said a particularly stern Goose. "Perhaps you have only six little ones."
Martha would have none of these interruptions. She had counted seven and so there were seven. It's true that the gray brownish colour of all the babies does tend to make them blend together.
She put her hands on the babies and one by one counted them off, patting each on the head as she did.  "Wait a minute!", she exclaimed as she finished patting out six of her babies. She reached into the prickly bunch, wriggled her hand underneath and grabbed hold of the seventh baby. 
"Ah hah! You see?", she said, pulling Segev from under his brothers and sisters. There was a great big gasp amongst the gathered friends. Martha stood, holding up Segev by his legs, smiling proudly.
"What's the matter?" she asked.  Then she looked at the baby porcupine - he was entirely black!  All of his quills were extraordinarily long and jet-black. How can this be, she thought. How indeed!  She had counted the babies as they came out, but they all looked equally dark that moonless night. 
By morning Segev had wriggled until he found himself under his sisters and brothers. Being the last one out of his mother's womb he most yearned for that comfortable warmth.
A Black porcupine! Have you ever seen such a thing?

None of the animals could any longer contain themselves and they moved closer to the stunned Martha. Poking Segev, sniffing him - a tumultuous cacophony broke out as each animal interjected his or her opinion as to what had brought about this most strange occurrence.
But since all the food had long been eaten the animals moved off, singly or in groups - clucking, chattering, snorting continuously as they went about the more pressing business of procuring the next meal.
Mrs. Porcupine sat bewildered and joined the now thoroughly unhappy and thus crying Segev, shedding her own sad tears.
"Come, come" said Mr. Porcupine, wisely staying silent until then."You're over-excited, that's all. It's a wonderful thing that has happened to us." He looked at the ground. "Uh, I think."

The Porcupines went off to their home in the hollowed-out tree and began to take care of the babies.
Although Martha hoped and prayed - her little porcupine didn't shed his annoyingly long black quills for the more ordinary brown or grey. Segev would hardly eat and he grew only very slowly - he was a great worry for the Porcupines. But eventually he became bigger and bigger and his shiny black quills grew and grew until he was the biggest little porcupine that anyone knew.

Segev two days old

No comments:

Post a Comment