Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friends and Procupines

Old World porcupine

I love living in the country. Last night, while my dog and I were taking a late evening stroll, a huge porcupine ambled out of the yard (fortunately I had a flashlight), across the road, and disappeared in the bushes next to the barn. His demeanor clearly said, "Pardon me, I'm walking here!" Seeing the mass of spines on his back, I had no intention of arguing. My dog, having no experience with procupines, pulled on the leash indicating he had other ideas.

I restrained him, not because I wanted to deprive him of the delights of the chase, but because I had a sudden vision of us making a mad, midnight drive to the emergency vet clinic to have spines removed from his nose. I tried to explain my reasoning to him, "Sorry, pal, but you've never encountered a porcupine before -- trust me, you're out of your league this time." He wasn't quite convinced but didn't have much choice and I was just grateful it hadn't been a skunk instead. Things could easily have been much worse.

Like my dog, there are times when I've needed to have someone hang on tightly to my leash, too. I chafe at the collar, pull and tug, bark and whine in my own way, but afterward, I appreciate the friend who saw danger where I only saw opportunity. It's a good thing to have people like that in our lives. Family are sometimes so close they fear to say what they think, but friends tell it like it is.

When I'm asked why I like Harry Potter so much, I have to say it's more why do I admire him so much. I suspect it's because Harry knows about loyalty -- if you're his friend, he'll charge at hell with a bucket of water on your behalf. He knows the truth and believes the best. He knows when to hold onto the leash and when to let go. It's what friends do.

Image via Wikipedia)
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