The Porcupine Defence Strategy

The porcupine is a proud member of the rodent family. It’s most famous for its quills, which it uses to defend itself against predators much bigger than itself.

The first part of the English word porcupine comes from the Latin word porcus which means pig. Does the porcupine remind you of a pig?

It seems to be a far–as in, not proximate–association to make. But we humans make associations like this all the time, don’t we? We say that A is similar to E, but the only thing that’s similar is that they’re both vowels.

So that’s the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to porcupine, especially when we consider the etymological associations. We have associated two dissimilar things with each other due to incorrect classification. It also seems that a regional American name for the animal is quill-pig.

These incorrect classifications can linger, much like the porcupine’s barbs; which act like anchors. If the barb wasn’t painful enough on the way in, it is even more painful to remove a quill that has pierced the skin. The way that the barb is designed by Mother Nature makes the quill effective for penetrating the skin and remaining in its place.

It is these very quills that provided the inspiration for hypodermic needles and surgical staples. The same way that these needles can be used to harm; they can also be used to heal–much like acupuncture, vaccinations and so on.

Porcupine wisdom is reminding us to overcome the noise and the chaos that we will inevitably find in the world around us. We cannot allow other people’s barbed–and incorrect opinions–to overcome what we are trying to accomplish.

The porcupine is using its quills to defend itself. Why? Because the porcupine is aware that there are ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ elements in the world. If not for the penetrating quills, people may incorrectly think that the porcupine is a harmless little creature. But the truth is that the porcupine is ferocious in its defence strategy.

With its sharp quill, the porcupine knows how to sling barbs at its opponents and aim for their most vulnerable spots. If an attack is likely in the future (Welcome to Planet Earth), wouldn’t you want a porcupine in your army?

Porcupines may be underestimated as they don’t appear strong or aggressive. But believe me, this is one animal you simply don’t want to mess with.


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