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Mister Prickles the Porcupine: Mister Prickles the Porcupine has a sad and lonely day when all his friends are away
Posted by Douglas, May 18, 2008. 4324 views. ID = 1315

Mister Prickles the Porcupine

Posted by Douglas, May 18, 2008. 4324 views. ID = 1315
This post was written in 19 minutes.
A couple months ago (for reasons I can't recall) my nephew Daniel (17 years old, and with Downs Syndrome) and I learned the sign language for porcupine.

Now, whenever I tell Daniel that he is a "goose" or a "turkey", he says "No, porcupine!"

Daniel wanted me to tell him a story about a porcupine, so here it is. :)
This post has been awarded 46 stars by 11 readers.

Mister Prickles the Porcupine sat on a low, flat rock in the middle of the forest. A big sloshy tear dripped down his nose and splashed on the rock. Mister Prickles was feeling very sad and lonely, and just a bit sorry for himself. If anyone had seen him sitting there all alone, they would have been surprised to know that he was lonely, for he had friends all over the forest.

He was friends with the squirrels, who chattered high in the treetops and tossed acorns back and forth in playful fights. At first the squirrels didn't want to be his friends, because they saw his very sharp quills, and were afraid he would poke them. But Mister Prickles promised he would be very, very careful, and the squirrels discovered that he was a very nice friend, even if he couldn't climb trees and throw acorns with them.

Mister Prickles was also friends with the birds, who soared high above the tallest trees. At first the birds didn't want to be his friends either. When they first learned his name they thought, Surely this Prickles fellow must have a very prickly personality, not at all like our cheerful and bubbly personalities. It was true that Mister Prickles wasn't very happy-go-lucky, but even though he wasn't as bubbly as the birds, he still liked to listen to their songs and tell them how beautiful they sounded. The birds liked that. Sometimes Mister Prickles would even try to sing with them. His voice was very different from theirs, and even though the sound was sometimes scratchy, and not always completely in tune, they agreed that it was nice to have a tenor voice with their soprano whistles once in awhile.

Mister Prickles was even friends with the ladybugs, which surprised everyone, for ladybugs are skittish and nervous little creatures. They are always afraid that someone will step on them, or accidentally eat them while they are hiding in the grass. But the shy little ladybugs discovered that Mister Prickles was very careful where he put his feet, and always paid close attention to what he put in his mouth. He was a very good friend, even though he wasn't nearly as good at hide-and-seek as they were.

Even with all these friends, still Mister Prickles was feeling lonely, sitting all by himself on a low, flat rock in the middle of the forest. Sometimes, on bright sunny days like this, his friends went places where Mister Prickles could not follow. When the squirrels were high in the treetops, Mister Prickles could not play with them. When the birds were soaring above the great white clouds, Mister Prickles could not sing with them. When the ladybugs were hiding under rocks, or inside hollow logs, Mister Prickles was too big to hide with them.

Mister Prickles did not blame his friends; he knew that sometimes squirrels have to do squirrel things, and birds have to do bird things, and ladybugs have to do ladybug things. Still, it made him sad to be left all alone. He wished he could fly, or climb trees, or play hide-and-seek. As he thought about this, a second big tear dripped down his nose and made another splash on the low, flat rock in the middle of the forest.

Then, to Mister Prickles' wonder, a mournful, raspy voice came from rock. The voice said, "Is it raining out there?" Mister Prickles was so startled that he jumped high in the air, and all of his quills stood out at once in all directions. When he landed, he was on the ground, facing what turned out to be the back side of the rock, for he saw that it had grown a tiny little tail. As he walked around the rock, he saw that legs had sprouted from the side, and from the front of the rock a sad little head poked out.

"It is not raining," Mister Prickles said, "It is just that I am sad and lonely, so I was crying a little bit." Then, since the strange rock with legs and tail and head didn't say anything, he added, "What kind of creature are you? I've never seen a rock quite like you before."

"I'm not a rock," the strange creature replied. "I'm a turtle." The turtle studied Mister Prickles for awhile, then he said, "Why are you sad?"

So Mister Prickles explained about all his very nice friends who were busy doing squirrel things and bird things and ladybug things. The turtle nodded while he listened, and then said, "I'm sad too. Today is my birthday, and I don't have anyone to celebrate with."

"Don't you have a family?" Mister Prickles asked.

"On the other side of the forest."

"Well, can't you go spend your birthday with them?"

The turtle shook his little head. "No, I walk very, very slowly. It would take me two whole days to get there, and by then my birthday would be all over."

Mister Prickles thought that was very sad - even sadder than sitting all by yourself on a rock that turned out to be a turtle, and not a rock at all. As Mister Prickles thought about his new friend, and how sad it must be to spend your birthday all by yourself, he had a very clever idea. He thought it would be very nice for all of his friends to throw a party for Mister Turtle. He didn't tell Mister Turtle what he was thinking, but he excused himself and promised that he would be back soon.

As quickly as he could, he ran to the trees and called out to the squirrels, who stopped throwing acorns long enough to listen to his idea. They chattered gleefully among themselves and then agreed that they would help Mister Prickles with his grand plan.

Then Mister Prickles stood in the middle of a small clearing and called out "Ollie-ollie-in-free," until all his ladybug friends came out of hiding to see what he wanted. When he explained what he wanted them to do, the ladybugs set off on their journey without a moment's hesitation.

Then Mister Prickles put on his very best tenor voice and sang a cheerful song to his bird friends, who swooped down to see what he wanted. The birds were delighted to participate in Mister Prickles' party, and set off to plan and practice.

At last it was time for Mister Turtle's birthday party. First all the birds perched on a tree branch and sang Happy Birthday in four part harmony. Five, actually, if you count Mister Prickles, who was humming very quietly in his scratchy tenor voice. Then the squirrels brought out a magnificent feast they had gathered: twigs and leaves and clover and dandelions and all manner of wonderfully sweet treats. Everyone ate until they couldn't eat another bite.

Now Mister Prickles smiled happily, for he had saved the very best surprise for last. The ladybugs had returned from their journey to the far side of the forest, and had brought special birthday greetings from Mister Turtle's cousins and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and his mom and dad, who all missed him very much, and asked the ladybugs to tell him that they loved him.

Mister Turtle was so happy he began to cry. This worried Mister Prickles; he was afraid his new friend was sad. The other animals explained, "No, it just means that he's extra happy, because it's the best birthday party he ever had." Mister Turtle was too happy to speak, but he nodded his little head vigorously to let Mister Prickles know that they were right.

At the end of the day, when the party was over and everyone had returned to their own homes, Mister Prickles climbed onto another low, flat rock (after saying "excuse me" several times to see if the rock would talk back to him). He hummed Happy Birthday to himself, and even though no one else would have recognized the tune in his humming, Mister Prickles didn't care.

How funny it is, he thought to himself as he finished his seventeenth chorus of the birthday song, just this morning I was sitting all by myself feeling lonely and sad, but it turned out to be the very best day of my whole life, even without climbing trees, or flying, or playing hide-and-seek.

Then he thought, I'm far too happy and excited to go to bed. But it had been a long and busy day, and he was very tired, so it didn't take long for him to drift off to sleep, there on a low, flat rock in the middle of the forest. He slept soundly, with a big smile on his face, and dreamed wonderful dreams of squirrels and birds and ladybugs, and a turtle who cried because he'd never had such a wonderful birthday party.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 46 stars by 11 readers.
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Josiah T.
May 18, 2008
hehe, cute :-)
   ~Posted by Josiah T., May 18, 2008

May 19, 2008
Awww! That's so sweet! :-)
   ~Posted by Katie, May 19, 2008

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