Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Prickly Porcupine Runs Away" by Anonymous

Prickly Porcupine Runs Away
Anonymous/Unknown

It was a bright, shiny morning. The sun was just peeping through the trees. The early birds were hopping about looking for worms and the squirrels were scurrying about looking for nuts. Everyone was busy and happy.

Everyone except Prickly Porcupine.

"I'm going to run away!" said Prickly.

Prickly Porcupine was feeling extra prickly that morning. He had gotten "D" in deportment on his report card the day before because he had pinched Priscilla, his best friend. His mother had cried when she saw his report card. And his father had scolded him.

"Why can't you be good, like all the other little animals?" he had asked Prickly.

But, somehow, Prickly always got into trouble. He wouldn't study his lessons. He wouldn't help his mother wash the dishes. And when his friends asked him to come and play, he would rattle his quills and look so cross that they soon ran off and left him alone.

"It's no use!" Prickly told himself. "Nobody loves me. Even Priscilla doesn't love me any more! I'm going to run away!"

Prickly crept out through the back window of his house. Soon he was hurrying down the shady road through the woods. He whistled to himself as he went along.

"I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

At the bend of the road he met old Granny Owl who was sitting on her doorstep sunning herself.

"Where are you going, Prickly Porcupine?" Granny Owl asked.

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away. No one to scold me all the day."

"Oh," said Granny Owl. "Well, as long as you're running away, would you mind taking this basket of nuts with you and giving it to Mrs. Mouse? She wants to try my recipe for nut soup."

"Okay!" said Prickly. And he took the basket and went off down the road whistling. "I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

By and by he came to Mrs. Mouse's house.

"Hello, Mrs. Mouse," said Prickly. "Here are some nuts that Granny Owl sent you. But I have to hurry on!"

"Thank you, Prickly," said Mrs. Mouse. "And where are you hurrying to?"

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away. No one to scold me all the day!"

"Oh!" said Mrs. Mouse. "If you're running away, would you mind leaving this jar of ointment at Uncle Rabbit's house? He worked so hard yesterday that he has a very stiff back. And this is just the thing to make it better."

"Okay!" answered Prickly. And he took the jar of ointment and went off down the road whistling. "I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

By and by he came to Uncle Rabbit's house. "Hello, Uncle Rabbit," said Prickly Porcupine. "Mrs. Mouse sent you this ointment to rub on your back. Now I have to hurry on!"

"Thank you, Prickly," said Uncle Rabbit. "But if you aren't in too much of a hurry, could you rub my back first? I'm so stiff I can't do it myself."

"Okay!" said Prickly. And he took some ointment and rubbed Uncle Rabbit's back.

"Thank you, Prickly. That makes my back feel much better!" said Uncle Rabbit. "But where are you hurrying to?"

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

"Oh," said Uncle Rabbit. "If you're running away, I don't want to keep you. Good-by!"

"Good-by, Uncle Rabbit," said Prickly. And he went off down the road whistling to himself. "I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

By and by Prickly came to Mr. Squirrel's house. Mr. Squirrel was walking up and down, up and down, shaking his head.

"Hello!" said Prickly Porcupine. "What's the matter, Mr. Squirrel?"

"Maybe you could help me, Prickly," Mr. Squirrel answered. "It's the storehouse. The roof has collapsed and all the nuts will be spoiled!"

"Well," said Prickly. "Maybe I could. But I have to hurry on."

Prickly walked over to the storehouse and peeped in. "I know just the thing!" he said. And he shook loose some of his quills and gave them to Mr. Squirrel.

"You can use these to prop up the roof," Prickly said.

"Oh, thank you, Prickly! That's just what we needed," said Mr. Squirrel. "But where are you hurrying to?"

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

"In that case," said Mr. Squirrel. "You better hurry along. But won't you take a few nuts with you in case you get hungry?"

"Thank you!" said Prickly. And he took some nuts and he went off down the road whistling. "I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

By and by Prickly began to get tired. So he sat down under a shady tree to rest, and to eat his nuts. Suddenly he heard a funny noise right behind him. "E-e-e-h! E-e-e-h!" went the noise.

"That's a funny noise!" said Prickly. "It sounds just like a fog horn, but it can't be a fog horn, because there isn't any fog!"

Prickly turned around to see what was making the noise. There, in the bushes behind him, was a brown, baby bear.

"Hello," said the bear. "Can you help me? I'm caught in these vines and I can't get out!"

"Okay!" said Prickly. "But I have to hurry on!"

Prickly began to gnaw at the vines with his sharp little teeth, and pretty soon the bear was free.

"Thank you, Prickly!" said the bear. "But where are you hurrying to?"

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

"Well," said the bear. "If you're running away, you better hurry along. Good-by!"

"Good-by!" answered Prickly. And he went down the road whistling. "I'm running away! I'm running away! No one to scold me all the day!"

By and by Prickly met some ants. They were running around and around, waving their feelers in the air.

"Hello!" said Prickly. "Is something the matter?"

"Yes!" said all the ants together. "Can you help us? We have to cross that brook, and our bridge has been washed away!"

"Okay!" said Prickly. "But I have to hurry on!"

Prickly lay down at the edge of the brook, with his tail on one side and his nose on the other. And all the ants, one by one, crawled up his tail and along his back and off on the other side.

"Thank you! Thank you!" said the ants. "But where are you hurrying to?"

"I'm running away!" answered Prickly. "I'm running away! No one to scold me all he day!" And he went off down the road whistling.

The sun began to go down behind the trees. And Prickly began to walk slower and slower. He'd been walking all day and his feet hurt. Suddenly he looked up. He had been so busy walking down the road and whistling that he hadn't had time to look where he was going.

"That's funny!" said Prickly to himself. "This place looks just like some place I've been before. But I couldn't have ever been here before. I'm running away. And this place looks just like home!"

Prickly walked on very slowly now, watching everything he passed. He came to a tree that had a heart carved on it. Inside the heart there were words which read:

"Oh, goodness! Priscilla still loves me! Otherwise she wouldn't have carved this on the tree." Prickly cried. "Oh, Priscilla, why did I ever run away from home and leave you?"

"You didn't run away from home, Prickly!" Prickly heard someone say. And there behind the tree was Priscilla, waiting for him. "You are home, Prickly."

Prickly looked and sure enough, there was his friend Priscilla. Prickly was home again.

He had been so busy all day, doing things for other people that he just hadn't noticed that he had travelled around in a circle. But he certainly was glad that he hadn't succeeded in running away. And now he knew that he never would try to run away again.

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