By Steven Ross LCSW RSW
The Weasel and the Porcupine.
There once was a gentle weasel who met a beautiful porcupine. He fell in love with that sweet-faced porcupine and the porcupine fell in love with that kind weasel. The weasel could tell he was a bit sad and a bit hurt by the world but he thought he could bring happiness and love and care to the porcupine. And who knows what the porcupine saw in the happy weasel, only the porcupine knew that answer.
So they were happy. And joyful. And the weasel saw the sadness leave the porcupine and that made the weasel want to remain even more.
The weasel learned how to hold the porcupine in a way that made them both happy. Sometimes the world would startle the porcupine. And sometimes the world would startle the weasel, and one or the other would squirm, and cause the quills of the porcupine to poke and hurt the weasel, or the claws of the weasel to scratch at the porcupine but they would settle back down and go back asleep.
It’s a shame the story doesn’t end here.
At one point, who knows why, the weasel sure didn’t know why, but a sadness seemed to seep over the porcupine again. No matter how hard the weasel tried to make the porcupine happy, the porcupine just looked away and stared at other things. The quills started poking and hurting more often, mostly accidental, but sometimes on purpose.
So sadly, the weasel started to stay away. The weasel never thought about not coming back every day to the porcupine cause that felt like home, but it wasn’t as safe as it once was. It wasn’t as fun as it once was. The weasel felt alone and instead of turning to the porcupine for comfort, which maybe he should have, he found comfort in the silliness of his friends.
Every so often he’d look over to see if the porcupine was feeling happier or smiling, but the porcupine seemed angry or distracted, so the weasel would turn around again and try to entertain himself. He missed the joy and the silliness inside the loved one but felt that the world was being so hard on the porcupine, that to ask for happiness was not very reasonable.
The porcupine was sad and felt very alone as well, and his sadness shifted to a darker place cause he saw the weasel not feeling the happy comfort and the safety that it once felt with the porcupine. The weasel’s claws scratched him more often. Mostly by accident. Sometimes on purpose.
The porcupine kept to his own life, staying away. And not really inviting the weasel in. Every once in a while, the porcupine would stab the weasel just a bit too hard. And a bit too on purpose. And the weasel would scratch back a bit too hard. And a bit too on purpose.
But somehow each would see the sweetness in the other's face from time to time and try to cuddle back into their embrace but, sadly, it wasn’t as comfortable as it once was. But it was still comfortable. Enough.
The porcupine’s sadness slowly deepened. Maybe because the world was too hard, or the weasel seemed too far away and seemed to be having too much fun, or something else entirely. They both weren't quite sure. But the gap just kept growing. Til it was too big. The porcupine stabbed. And the weasel clawed. And it was broken. This is when maybe the story should have ended. But it didn’t.
The weasel still saw the sweetness in the porcupine. And maybe the sweetest mixed with sadness was also appealing too. Maybe he could help if he just kept loving. And loving. And being patient. He would keep smiling when the porcupine would stomp by. And he would cuddle up to the porcupine again and again when allowed. He would try to ignore the little pricks and the stabs. But he also needed frivolity in his life. And he would find it outside with friends and the things he loved.
It seemed the porcupine was also doing the same thing as well. So maybe this was ok.
But sadly this kept having the same result. More pricks. More stabs. More claws. More fun away from each other.
Til it broke. Again. And again.
And each time it maybe should have been the end of the story. But each time it wasn’t.
Finally, the weasel was too afraid of the stabs and stayed away too much. The stabs felt too personal. And too purposeful. He still loved and was drawn to that sweet face with such power but the weasel was just too scared of the quills to hold the porcupine tight like he used to.
And the porcupine felt too abandoned and sad for the porcupine's love to overpower that feeling of distance. Their cuddle was no longer comfortable. And so it was done. With deep sadness. Great love. And some fear and abandonment all scrambled up together.