Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Stickery Situation- Part One

I noticed the barking long before I discovered the source.

My boss and I were chopping fire blight out of the trees in the orchard. We both noticed the dog about the same moment. It had been barking for some time, but neither of us had given it much thought.

Until now. It had started to get annoying.

"Gosh, what on earth is wrong with that dog?" my boss muttered under his breath.

"I have no idea," I replied. "I'm not familiar with it's bark, either."

"I don't know it." He shrugged. "Maybe someone got a new dog. Sure sounds mad, though."

We continued to work, every ten minutes or so commenting on how the dog hadn't stopped barking. By the time forty-five minutes had passed, the dog was still at it and we were done with the tree. My boss send me out into the orchard to go and dump the load of infected branches, then to head back up and get to work on another tree.


I started up the gator and drove into the orchard, humming to myself and enjoying the beautiful morning. Not too hot, not too cold today, I thought. That was a relief- it had been forever since I had gotten to enjoy a day that wasn't weighted down with heat.

The dumping ground for tree branches wasn't too far off when I noticed a dog in the orchard. It was Yogi, my boss's dog, and he was barking his head off at something next to a tree. I stopped the gator, a bit stunned. That bark isn't Yogi's usual bark.

I realized he was the dog we'd heard this entire time. Something was wrong. Even Yogi didn't bark this much.

For a second or two I watched him continue to lunge at something next to the tree. It was a black shape, and I wondered if he'd discovered a skunk. Just in case, I turned the gator off and walked over cautiously. When I got close enough to the golden retriever, my eyes caught sight of the culprit- and why Yogi was barking so much.

Yogi had discovered a porcupine. The creature had his face against the tree and kept slapping at Yogi's face each time the dog got too close. I tried to jerk Yogi back, but he only yelped more and tried to get the porcupine. I glanced down at his nose and discovered he'd already gotten a licking.

 Yogi had about six quills in his nose, but that didn't stop him from trying to catch this troublesome guy. I tried to pull him back to the gator, but to no avail. So then I decided I'd try and throw apples at the porcupine and scare him off, all the while holding onto Yogi to keep him from escaping.

It didn't work. Apple after apple hit the porcupine. He buried himself further into the tree. Rats, I thought. Well, this wasn't going very well. I wasn't strong enough to pull Yogi back to the gator myself. So I drove back up to the front of the house and asked my boss to help me.

"Yogi's in the orchard," I said. "He's the dog that's been barking."

"What?" My boss blinked in surprise. "He doesn't usually bark like that."

"He found a porcupine."

At this, my boss broke into a grin. "Oh, well this is going to be fun." He got into the gator. I moved out of the driver's seat and let him take control. We headed out to the orchard, where my boss promptly dragged Yogi away from the porcupine and put him in the gator.

"What do you want done with the porcupine?" I asked.

"Just leave it. He'll wander off," my boss told me.

We got back up to the front of the house, where my boss's mom, Mrs. Hansen, asked me about the fate of the porcupine.

 "Well, he's still under the tree," I told her.

"What?" She grimaced. "That's... no, I don't like that. Augh, what if a little kid finds it and gets hurt? No, you better go put a crate on it. Mr. Hansen will take care of it later."

A crate? Well, I wasn't sure how I was going to do that. This was a porcupine! How does one put a porcupine in a crate?

I headed back out to the orchard, apple box in hand as well as several shovels to defend myself. When I got back to the spot, Mr. Porcupine was still there and still had his face covered by the tree. I managed to use the shovel to scoop him away from the tree, and then I pushed a apple box on top of him.

There, that job's done. And I hadn't even gotten pricked.

I then noticed something strange about the apples that were on the ground...



Apparently, the apples I'd thrown at the porcupine had hit their mark. I hadn't realized he'd stuck all his quills in the apples! I began to laugh, and of course I snapped pictures of it. (As evidenced above.)

I made sure the box was secure, then left. Mr. Porcupine to his boxed seclusion and headed back to the front of the orchard, were customers were beginning to arrive. I felt bad that the porcupine would have to be dealt with later. In all honesty, it was only defending itself and when I moved it with a shovel, it didn't even run after me.

I guess that's just how life is. I sighed. I didn't want my boss to know I felt bad, he'd tease me relentlessly about it.



I left the box where it was and decided to just let it be. I'd know the porcupine's fate the next day. Yogi had his quills removed from his face, and was locked on the deck for the rest of the day to keep away from the porcupine.

Too bad. I guess it's just how it goes. I really did like that porcupine. He reminds me of Felix, that little porcupine toy I had when I was little.

I couldn't change the fate of Mr. Porcupine. It was just the way things were.

Or maybe... not.

To be continued...

12 comments:

  1. Aww, poor silly dog! Dogs are smart, but not about some things... ;)
    I understand what you mean Emily, I actually feel kinda sorry for Mr. Porkypine myself. (yes, I know I spelt it wrong. But...that's how I pronounce it. ;)
    Excited for the next part!

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    1. Hehehehe, yeah, well, Yogi has never been the brightest creature ever. Believe me... ;) He's sweet, but not really... well... smart. ;)

      More to the story yet to come, but it has a happy ending. ;)

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  2. Haha! Never a dull moment where you work, huh? We have lots of porcupines at my family's hunting camp. They are pretty destructive little critters. I have a few quills that my dad saved me once.

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    1. You got that right! Always something happening. It's a pretty fun job. ;) Yes, porcupines are terrible on apple and Christmas trees but.... they're just so darn cute! I like them a lot. :) I didn't save my quills, unfortunately, I just left them there.

      More to come soon!

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  3. Anonymous10/15/2015

    Interesting...glad you didn't get hurt:) Awww, poor Yogi. I guess he was just doing everything according to instinct, as well as the porcupine(this time I AM glad to have spell check :)
    R. Franklin

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    1. I'm glad I didn't get hurt, either! I think the porcupine might have been a girl, but I call all creatures "he's" just because. :) He was pretty cute.

      More to come soon!

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  4. Save the quills!!!! (And get me one while your at it would you? ;P) Amazing critters, huh? Sometimes I wish I could have a few quills handy when I'm backed into a corner. :) Boy, no one would want to bother me if that was the case! ;) Thanks for the post Emily, I can't wait to see how it ends!

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    1. Uhm.... I didn't save them.... Sorry! I just left them as is, I didn't really care too much about the quills. Just the experience. I didn't think about saving them, sorry! They are fun to see. :) I like porcupines!

      Yep, more to come soon! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. I've always wanted to see a porcupine in real life! Poor dog though! I look forward to the continued story (I assuming it explains what happens long term to the porcupine?).

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    1. Yes, I explain the long term sentence of the porcupine. Guilty... or not guilty. ;) I'll get to that sometime this week.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Aww, poor Yogi! That's something my dog would do, not stop barking until he got someone's attention. ;)
    Waiting on pins and needles (that really fits here! LOL) for the conclusion! ;)

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    1. Hehehehe well, hope you enjoy the next part! Nice pun. ;) I think you'll find the conclusion satisfying. :D Thanks for commenting!

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