"Why the f**k," you ask, "would you want to do something like that?"
The fact is, I don't. It is completely counterintuitive to look at this little beastie and have your first instinct be to pick it up and give it even a little cuddle. Unfortunately, I'm not going to give it a little cuddle. I've already got it in my arms and I'm squeezing it like it's the last piece of chocolate I might ever see again.
I've come to the conclusion that rocking this little guy in my arms, crushing him to my chest is the only way I'm ever going to be rid of the quills. First I have to embrace him and feel those sharp little buggers pierce my skin. I have to let them get through the armor I have been wearing and fill me with holes. Only then can I put him down and pull the needles out one by one. I'll look at them, respect them for what they are, and throw them away. With any luck, the holes they leave behind will let the light in and when it's all said and done I'll have me a little bald pet porcupine who doesn't frighten me a bit.