The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Porcupine Piracy

Posted · 29 Comments


When I found a porcupine in my yard a couple of nights ago while videoing the coyotes across the driveway, it never really occurred to me to do anything other than Facebook his picture…because what else would I do…until my friend Cindy suggested I should collect some quills for crafting.

And me being a person who would never actually do a craft, I thought, sure. Why not?

Cindy, who shall forever be blamed for what happened next…not myself for taking the advice but she for giving it…told me I should throw a pillow on him.  She didn’t really give further instructions and being eleven-thirty at night it didn’t really cross my mind to think it through.  Throw pillow…get quills.  Simple.

And because logic and intelligence are rarely a part of late night escapades, I woke Billy and made him come along.

Armed with a tiny flashlight…because my children are frickin’ battery thieves…a pillow and a video camera, we ventured out into the dark of night.

With no real plan, we giggled our way into the grassy area behind the house and found the little critter munching away happily on some fireweed.  I poised myself with the camera and cursed the tiny flashlight while Billy…with only mild pressure from myself…tossed an old pillow onto the unsuspecting porcupine.

At which point the porcupine did what any reasonable porcupine would do when attacked from behind by bedding.  He freaked out.

Now I’m not really sure what I thought would happen at this point. Because the pillow did not just fall to the ground with a healthy supply of crafting quills…it embedded itself onto the porcupines back like a squishy turtle shell and securely held on as the porcupine danced in circles like a dog that’s not quite sure his tail is not his own.

And then the hysterical laughter began.

I sent Billy for my cell phone so I could photograph the sight and we snapped a few picture while contemplating what would be our next brilliant move.  We knew it had to be a good one.  After all, we were on a roll.

With only seconds to think as the little guy scampered about, I thought about what would happen if he escaped with his treasure.  I imagined some fellow going home and telling his wife he’d seen a pillow cross the road in front of him and her telling him to stay off the bottle.  Oh the ruckus it would cause in my neighborhood to have a pillow laden porcupine on the loose. We had to get it off.

And then, without warning, he took off into the night.

Who knew a porcupine could move at such a speed?  I’d always thought of them as more docile creatures, lumbering about, always getting run over because they were too slow to step out of the way.  But alas, apparently when pounced on by a pillow, their get-up-and-go gets a move on!

And where would a panicked porcupine flee?  Why, into my shed, of course!

The excitement ended soon after as the assaulted varmint dropped his pillow at the door, as any good visitor would do, an disappeared in to the back corner of our bike shed.

As soon as we could breathe again and our squealing voices had come back to normal, Billy pulled the quills from the pillow and piled them into a dish.  He’d missed one though, and after screaming homicidal promises while I tugged it from his hand with pliers, he stuffed the old pillow into the trash can so as not to risk any more surprises.

Our guest was gone by morning and all that was left was a tiny pile of crafting quills, Billy’s bloody hand, and THIS VIDEO! You can’t see much, but turn up the volume for a play-by-play and a good laugh cause what you can see worth squinting into the dark!!

(Forgive our squeaky voices…we were trying to whisper and be in hysterics at the same time…)

29 Responses to "Porcupine Piracy"
  1. Lynn Falconer says:

    OMG, late night adventures are likely to be disasterous or hilarious no guesses which this is!

  2. Oh my gosh, hilarious!!! Trying to not wake the kids with my giggles 🙂

  3. Shannon Baker77 says:

    Keri, this was the very first blog post of yours that I read, being a country kid myself, it gave me a good giggle and made me think of my home. Where the first thing you learn when venturing forth on your own is not how to operate a navigation device but to watch your feet and remember how to identify wildlife (particularly the snakes) properly the first time! I’ve been your fan ever since! Thanks for always supplying a smile or a good tug at my heartstrings!

  4. Kimberly Mietzah Damkoehler says:

    Oh MY GOODNESS I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. Upside down pin cushion with speedy feet…

    Oh dear.

  5. Lks says:

    I don’t care who your are, funny stuff!  I have no idea what your non-alaskan friends think of you, but I love you girlie!

  6. cmeireland says:

    How about auctioning off the quills on ebay? ooo, or make them a blog giveaway! lol

  7. Theperkinslovejesus says:

    omg that was hillarious!!!  We had a similar experience with a coffee mug and a skunk (don’t ask) lol  Really enjoyed this story so did my 5year old who asked me why I was watching a ghost on the computer 🙂

  8. J_k1005 says:

    I want to be part of your family…..LOL

  9. scotty says:

    dorothy had lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
    and keri has porcupines and mooses and bears, OH MY!!!

  10. John Steinbeck says:

    ahh god….poor Billy….not only do you make him an accomplice, you make him use his pillow!!!
    Y’all are too funny…

  11. Writer200 says:

    *laughs hysterically* This video and the post are awesome and now I’m here trying to smother my laughter so that I don’t wake up my younger brother. Half the fun is listening to the video and reading the comments on this.
    I dare not say ‘only in Alaska’, cause if I did, somebody would be sure to comment and say something about having done something similar!

  12. KayCee says:

    this is totally off topic …. but your voice on the video sounds EXACTLY as I have imagined it as I have read your wonderful, thoughtful, amazing blog!   

  13. Lois Groat says:

    That was absolutely hilarious!

  14. Fmlee4ever says:

    Sooo funny – the interaction between you and your son is priceless.

  15. April Collins says:

    This is totally the kind of thing that needs a label with 20’s gangster slang. “That mug just lammed off with our loot see.” 
    It is also totally the kids of thing I thought only happened to me and my kids…and we live in Alabama. 

  16. Lizard0001234 says:

    You made my day! Thanks for the laugh!

  17. Beautifulwun says:

    That was awesome 🙂

  18. Whitney Johnson says:

    That is hilarious. Poor little porcupine was probably terrified… munching away on a snack, then suddenly…

    “wtf!??  wtf is on my back?! aaarrggg!! get it ooooffffff!!!! peeeeeeeople!!!!!”


  19. Absolutely hilarious!! Love it!

  20. Cindy Pruitt says:

    For the record…I said use a pillow to get quills, you were the one who asked if you could throw it at him =)  ROTFL!  This was quite the Alaskan Adventure, you can never go wrong with wild animal stories.  If this goes viral, I want a “I’m a Backwoods Mom” T-shirt.  Glad I could help with the hilarity.

  21. Hahaha  this is to funny! I love nite escapades!! This tops all mine lol lol!  Thanks for the chuckles!

  22. Amy Tuggey says:

    Pure comedy genius! LOVE IT!

  23. Tbzbmagill says:

    Lot’s of fun!  I am sure that night escapade will be remembered for years to come!  

  24. Sue Blakeman says:

    I LOVE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! And I love you for sharing it with all of us, your faithful followers!!!!!!! <3

  25. Lin22all says:

    Thanks for the giggles!! Too funny. : )

  26. Spainbobby009 says:

    you mite want to work on developing a porky plan.

  27. Gopapatnidd says:

    very cute.  Looking forward to seeing what you do with the quills.  In India they are used in religious ceremonies.  Our Aussie Echidnas don’t shoot their quills.  You only find them in road kill and I haven’t the gumption to get into that.

    • Kimberly Mietzah Damkoehler says:

      Alaskan Porkies don’t shoot their quills either… That’s just an old wive’s tale that lives on LOL. The most they can do is lay down their guard hairs, and stand their quills up. The sharpest of the quills DO release very easily though, and are extremely easy to snag on anything that comes in contact. When alarmed, their quills stand up, and they turn their backs (where the majority of their “weaponized” quills grow) toward the threat so that it’s the first thing a predator comes in contact with.

  28. Dustin Shannon says:

    The video is like an odd version of “the Blair Witch Project.” 🙂 – Dustin S.

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