The Porcupine


What! would you slap the Porcupine?
Unhappy child—desist!
Alas! that any friend of mine
Should turn Tupto-philist.1
To strike the creature
To strike the meanest and the least
Of creatures is a sin,
With prickes on its skin
How much more bad to beat a beast
With prickles on its skin.


Pictures by Lord Ian Basil Gawaine Temple, L Blackwood. Public Domain.

  1. From τυπτω=I strike; φιλεω=I love; one that loves to strike. The word is not found in classical Greek, nor does it occur among the writers of the Renaissance—nor anywhere else.

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