There once was a man that enjoyed watching the black ravens fly around, play, squawk, and chatter. He enjoyed them so much he would climb trees just to be closer to them. For many months the ravens ignored the man, but after a while, one of the ravens flew from a nearby tree and landed directly next to the man.
In utter amazement, the bird spoke to the man and asked, "You have been watching us for a long time. You have tried to get close to us. Why do you do this?"
The man replied, "I mean no harm. I have become enchanted with you and all your relatives. I enjoy the play, the squawking, and I wish I could learn your language so I could understand more about you."
Then the raven responded, "We are honored that you want to know us, as long as you do not cause harm, we will teach you our language."
For many months the ravens taught the man all about the language and how the ravens lived from day to day. The man became so educated that he knew everything there was to know about the ravens. Many of the ravens saw the man and accepted him as a friend.
One day, an older raven was flying far over the man, dropped a walnut perfectly on the man's head. It was done on purpose and all the ravens almost fell off their branches laughing so hard the way they do. One raven was flying and was laughing so hard he had to crash land right in front of the man.
The man was feeling bad and was hurt by being made fun of, so he asked the raven in front of him, "Why are you all picking on me."
The raven stopped laughing and became very serious. "We thought you understood us, but apparently you don't. If you did you would know that we are not mocking you... well maybe a bit, but it is done in our way of having fun. We are 'playing' with you and that is all. It is not to be taken seriously. You should know us better."
The man took sometime to understand this and over time a few more practical jokes were played on the man and he in turn pulled a few "good ones" on the birds. A good time was had by all and the man became even closer to the Ravens.
Porcupine quills are naturally antiseptic; although they can do tissue and organ damage as they travel through the victim, they rarely fester. This is, no doubt, of survival value to the porcupines themselves as they do impale themselves and each other on occasion. Excellent swimmers, the air-filled quills help keep the porcupine afloat.
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