Two nights ago, I saw him. I was driving the truck up the driveway after dinner out with a friend, and there he was, glued to the post between the two garage doors, chewing away.
My husband has been repainting the bottom of that post, then covering it with wire mesh, for the last couple of years. And now the beast was standing on his hind legs and gnawing on the unprotected wood above the mesh.
I shined the brights right at him, but he continued to chew. Eventually, he turned his head slowly and looked in my direction. This guy was nothing like Beatrix Potter\’s Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, who wore an apron and a frilled cap, and was a laundress. (In fact, Mrs. T. was a hedgehog rather than a porcupine.) Our porcupine wore a face full of gray whiskers, and an aggrieved look. It took him a few seconds to digest the circumstances before he lumbered off with an opposum-like waddle in the direction of the woods.
I must confess that in those few seconds, I had a fantasy of gunning the engine and running him over….
Instead, tonight, having consulted the WWW, we set out a humane trap baited with chunks of raw apple dipped in salt. With luck, he\’ll be waiting for us in the morning with a bellyful of salty apple and we\’ll put him in the car and relocate him to a stretch of woods somewhere.
Then we\’ll go back home and repaint the garage post, and hope that our porcupine was a bachelor.