The porcupine is not a large animal, but he is feared by some of the biggest. Even a tiger will think twice before tangling with this two-foot long terror. Most of the time the prickly little pincushion merely minds his own business. However, if something wants to start trouble, watch out! He will fight back!
From his neck to his tail, the porcupine has a heavy coat of quills. They look like knitting needles and each quill is razor sharp. There are around 30,000 quills and if he loses one, it will quickly grow back. Porcupines don't really shoot their quills like arrows, but each one has tiny blades all over it. Once stuck into it's enemy, the quill gets buried deeper and deeper, often leaving a nasty wound. The porcupine knows to quickly turn and lift its back and tail at an attacker to release the deadly weapons he carries with him.
Mountain lions can successfully hunt porcupines, but even they have to be careful. Only the head or belly can be attacked. Carefully and quickly the lion has to roll the porcupine on its back in order to avoid those sharp quills!
Usually the animal hurt by a porcupine is the one who does not look at the danger. It does not realize or care what the porcupine can do. It just rushes in and comes away the loser and sometimes death is the result too.
Do you stop to think before you act? Do you rush into action without considering the trouble you might be causing yourself or others? The Bible tells us "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." PRUDENT is an adjective that means acting with or showing care and thought for the future." Stop and pray before you act and let the Lord guide you in all of your decisions. What other verses can you find in the Bible about how your thoughts affect your actions? Read Philippians 4:8 to see what we ought to be thinking about.
(*excerpt adapted from "Listen to the Animals" by William Coleman)
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