Every morning, Elder Porcupine would set his claws to the back of the petrified pine, the oldest and tallest and deadest tree in the forest, and climb to the very top. There, he would watch the sun rise over the woods, and commune with the ancient spirits of the earth.
Well...that was what he told his grandkids, anyway.
It wasn't exactly untrue, but by the time you were Elder Porcupine's age, you were practically an ancient spirit yourself, and your communing mostly consisted of "Hey, spirits." "Hey, Porcupine." "You good?" "Can't complain." "All right, then." And you really didn't need to get up at dawn for that.
In actual fact, the top of the petrified pine was the only place in the whole damn forest where Elder Mrs. Porcupine would let him smoke.
This painting started out, and it was missing something. Finally I realized that it was the cigarette,* and the rest of it all fell into place--I knew WHY he was on top of the tree, and something of what his story was. I'm not sure why he's such a snappy dresser, but I assume the Elder Mrs. Porcupine is involved in some fashion.
I'm also not sure why the yellow-rumped-warbler is there, but possibly it's planning to bum one off him.
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*I'm sure you all know those things give you lung cancer by now, so I'll spare you the speech and assume you're planning on quitting real soon now.