Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jewel # 249 (May 20, 2016)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord
of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

“Spiky Pig” the Porcupine

“Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and 
makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven?”
(Job 35:11)

A three-foot-long porcupine suddenly appears in a quiet wooded area, moving noisily through dry leaves and underbrush.  It apparently is unconcerned about the noise it is making, for it has little to worry about.  The 12 to 35 - pound porcupine is safer from attack than almost any other animal, even though it is slow.  It is even safe from attack by a bear.  Only pumas seem able to attack porcupines successfully.

The porcupine is in the rodent family and is the third-largest, behind the capybara and the beaver.  This rodent is covered on its back, sides and tail with hundreds of strong, stiff quills.  These sharp quills are two to three inches long and come out easily, sticking into an attacker’s flesh.  Sometimes the quills rattle as it walks, but it cannot shoot them at its attacker.

If a porcupine senses danger, it turns its back, flares its quills, and greets the attacker with a hard slap of its tail, leaving many barbed quills in the attacker’s face and body.  These quills can only be pulled out from dogs and cats by people.  When an animal tries to remove them with its paws, the quills go in deeper.  If the quills are in the face or mouth, they usually cause the animal’s death in the end, either from infection or starvation.

Porcupines live in hollow logs, stumps, trees and rock slides.  Their main food is green vegetation and tree bark, but they also eat roots, fruits and berries.  Always hungry for salt, they sometimes break into cabins and eat any salty food they can find.  They become troublesome by gnawing paddle and axe handles, leather or anything stained with salty perspiration.

The female porcupine gives birth to a single offspring in the spring.  The baby arrives with a full supply of quills, which are soft and flexible at birth but soon harden.  The mother raises her baby alone.  Interestingly, she can push or help the little one climb a tree without getting herself stuck by its quills.

These unusual animals are another example of how the Creator gives certain creatures a quiet and peaceful life, but with good means of protection against any who would harm them.  In many ways, this is an example of His love and care over us as well.  The Bible encourages us to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).  It is good to follow this instruction.  

But instead of wanting to “get even” with those who oppose us, as the porcupine does, we we should tell them of God’s love and let them know that God wants them to be saved from their sins by coming to Him through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 If you try this, you may be happily rewarded.

Love you all,

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