Bill & the Porcupine

A story about Bill as a boy Scout.

Even as a boy Bill was ready to take the initiative on any venture The first time he and I went off without our parent was a two-week summer Boy Scout camp at Camp Reed on Brant Lake in the Adirondacks. In between the planed scout activities, Bill checked out the woods around the camp to see what might be there. He quickly spotted an animal neither of us had ever seen before, a porcupine. The young porcupine was up a small tree, where porcupines are usually to be found munching on twigs.

Bill decided that we should capture the porcupine and keep it as a pet while we were at scout camp. So all he needed to do was figure out how to do it without running afoul of the porcupine’s sharp quills.

Bill got a big cardboard box from behind the mess hall and some carrots and celery they had been feeding us. Then he had to find a way to get the porcupine out of the tree.

He remembered something about that from an old Boy’s Life magazine. He found a thin sapling long enough to reach the porcupine. He split the sapling’s end to make a fork. Then he reached the forked sapling up, jabbed the porcupine’s tail and caught it. The porcupine grabbed on to the sapling. Bill then lowered it into the bardboard box. Bill fed the animal some carrots and it was quite content. Bill hid his prize in our cabin.

Bill was then a naturalist hero to our fellow souts. This went on for a few days until the camp counselors got wind of it and Bill had to release the now well-fed porcupine back into nature.

– Contributed by his brother, John Kohout

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