Blogfest Day 6 ~ F is for Fable of the porcupine

Amongst the batch of e-mails doing the rounds , I stumbled upon an interesting fable . This is how it read :

It was the coldest winter ever – many animals died because of the cold . The porcupines , realising the situation , decided to group together . This way they covered and protected themselves ; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other . After a while they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die , alone and frozen . So they had to make a choice : either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth . Wisely , they decided to go back to being together . This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion , but the most important part of it , was the heat that came from the others . This way they were able to survive . Moral of the story : The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people , but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities .

The moral of the story is an idealistic one , and the pictures (which I've omitted) ,  of tiny baby porcupines that accompany the text , evoke a feel-good and highly emotional response . I've viewed this fable on the net , on countless occassions , and most of the comments refer to the 'cuteness' , 'adorable' , 'sweet' , 'cuddly' , 'loveable' quality of the 'little critters' . But hey , there's nothing wrong with that – nothing wrong with spreading a feeling of warm , mushy , fuzzy , sentimentality … after all , these are positive emotions …

And this really got me thinking … the fable represents an optimistic view of how human relationships SHOULD really work even though the cold ,  harsh reality that bites you in the face , is that we inhabit a world of erratic human behaviour with a myriad of human shortcomings/hidden agendas and ulterior motives . Don't get me wrong . I ain't no pessimist . On the contrary , I'm an eternal optimist , ready to find and believe the best in a person . But the truth is , my optimism leans towards realism , as opposed to idealism . I don't believe in walking around with "rose-tinted spectacles" .

But since this is merely a fable , which means it is not meant to be over-analysed , we are meant to accept the moral of the story for what it is . After all , that is the purpose of this fable . And the message IS a good one !!

So in conclusion , I'd like to say the following : if you associate with porcupines , or if you are in love with a porcupine , don't complain when it hurts ! *giggles*   











  1. Tara Tyler on April 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    very nice fable with a good moral.
    stick with your relationships even if some of their habits prick you =)
    Happy F day!

    • mish on April 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      It is a very good moral ~ also a reminder that as humans , we all have our shortcomings . I suppose we need to acknowledge the positive and learn to ignore the negative …

  2. 2mara on April 8, 2011 at 4:37 am

    hahaha. I am so glad this works for porcupines, and I don't plan to get too close to them for obvious reasons.

    • mish on April 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      You’re so right ~ it works for porcupines ! Humans and porcupines are totally different creatures ! 🙂

  3. Nutschell on April 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    This is making me think twice about getting a porcupine for a pet. 😛 Kidding aside, I love the moral of this fable. I think the best relationships are the most real and honest ones–this means both people accept one another's flaws and imperfections along with their partner's good qualities. 

    • mish on April 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Absolutely ~~ it has to be a mutual acknowledgement & acceptance !

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