An Interview with Princess Perdita Pricklepants


This is so cool!  We did an interview with Laura C. Dunklee of the Hedgehog Welfare Society which you can find here (there’s also a wonderful review of our little book):

HWS Newsletter Volume 85

We’ve transcribed it here for those who might have issues with reading the PDF and to make links and things work:

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An Interview with HRH Princess Perdita Pricklepants Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education

Thank you, your Royal Highness, for making yourself available for this interview. I know your time is valu- able and shall strive to be respectful and mindful of your commitments. For those not familiar with the groundbreaking “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages,” might you explain your vision for the book?

We had a few goals.

First we wanted to delight readers with the magnificent world of hedgehog art. There’s so much wonderful work out there from the Renaissance through the Modern period and we’re glad to be able to share this wonderful, lovely, and often fun world of hedgehog art. From Botticelli to Warhol there are so many ways to represent hedgehogs and capture the mysterious quilly essence that it makes for a fascinating journey.

Second we wanted to give each work enough context to be appreciated while keeping a light touch and a sense of humor. And lastly, we wanted to be sneakily educational, by describing major art periods, notable things about individual artists, their styles of representing hedgehogs, and their innovations.

Many people, even art historians (who should know better!), are unaware of the vast repository of art that includes – correction: celebrates – hedgehogs; why do you think this is and what can we, your subjects, do to raise visibility about this most important subject?

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“Rembrandt’s Portrait of Hedgehog Noble”

Hedgehog art history and art criticism is a young field, which does mean fewer will be exposed to the many works which are, even now, still being found. For instance, just this last month a 40,000 year old cave painting of a hedgehog was discovered! We work with the Royal Society of Hedgehog Art Historians, and hold the public outreach chair, so we’re promoting a greater knowledge and understanding. When notable discoveries are made, we share them with our subjects.

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We published this book to give a nice overview of hedgehog art, and so far readers have responded delightfully well. In an effort to bring hedgehog art in the public eye we (shameless plug alert!) produce tee shirts (search for “Urchin Wear” on Amazon), and have other merchandise such as note cards and delightful things on Redbubble.com. If subjects would like to raise visibility, following us on Facebook or Twitter and sharing anything that you particularly like would be a great way to spread the word, and of course, if you should purchase a book (we’d be endlessly grateful if you did) then writing a review would be very helpful. And if you really are an enthusiast and would like a tee shirt, there are many designs to choose from, in case one delights.

In the past we tried to reach out to various scholars at universities to further promote a popular knowledge of hedgehog art, though strangely professors rarely respond, and when they did they seemed to get confused. They’d just send notes saying things like “Please stop emailing me,” or “Do I need to get a restraining order?” For the record they don’t need to put in an order for art history retraining, we’d be happy to advise at no charge.

How do you feel about the way the artists’ models were treated as they posed for these remarkable works? What do you know about these models and their lives beyond the art world?

Well, I think we can say the first poor hedgehog used in the cave art was probably not very happy. An ancient human effectively blew ochre all over the poor thing to create an outline – horrifying. People apparently weren’t very polite 40,000 years ago.

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“Detail of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel”

There are a number of unknown models in works from the Renaissance, and little is known about the day to day lives of common hedgehogs (Hedgehog Cultural Studies is also a very young field, though the Hedgehog American Cultural Association is making progress researching and promoting public awareness). Given the refined and subtle poses in works through most art history, we want to assume that models were treated with the gentleness and kindness all hedgehogs deserve, but this is something we must research more to be sure of.

 

One of the most remarkable things we’ve learned about this is that Her Highness’s forebears are occasionally represented. In this case we do have various records and stories and know that as nobility, they were generally treated with due dignity, decorum, and politeness, though human social norms were odd.

For instance, the culture of Renaissance Italy held unusual superstitions regarding the idea of hedgehogs crawling in their food as “unclean,” and in Paris in the late 1800s the mere presence of hedgehogs could scandalize literary salons. We also know that there were various court intrigues among Renaissance hedge- hogs, especially the Venetians, with conflicts and even impoliteness.

I note that “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages” has you listed as a secondary author; what was it like to collaborate with a co-author, what was your writing and editing process like, and do you feel S.M. Bach was appropriately respectful of your vision for the book? Also, why did you choose to be listed second?

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“David’s Discomfort of Socrates”

S.M. Bach is our loyal hand servant who has worked diligently with us in our research and cataloging, has helped with preparing photos of the art, and is a far better typist (a good hedgehog keyboard is a challenge to design). In working on the book, I would select works, dictate accounts for each, and then we would go over edits and layouts. Editing is definitely not fun, though I left most of that kind of menial labor to the handservants so we could live the true life of mind every hedgehog aspires to.

Due to persistent and pernicious pet prejudice in publishing, the human was required to be listed first – it’s shocking to see such a thing in this day and age, but the fight for progress truly never ends.

As a pet’s rights activist this was very troubling, but we are working on expanding awareness and will work to see the day a hedgehog can publish without the sad specter of speciesism.

What has been the critical reception to this revolutionary work? Do you feel this reception is appropriate? Will there be a second book?

We’re very happy to say the reception has been universally positive. We’ve gotten reviews from several readers (art enthusiasts) who said they felt the book was written specifically for them, and the reviews on Amazon are all very positive, and what reviews we’ve received from websites have been very positive (for instance BoingBoing reviewed our book). Needless to say more reviews to help popularize this important topic would be both delightful and a great contribution to aiding the advance of knowledge.

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“Mucha’s P. Picklepants”

At this point we’re still mulling a second art book. We are planning work on a children’s story book (not art related), and once that’s done we’ll need to see where things stand. There are a number of traditional hedgehog folk tales not well known to humans that we are considering adapting. Needless to say we will continue sharing art research that is not in the current book since there are so many dimensions to it. While the current book begins in the Renaissance, we’ve since found cave art, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek art, and have shared various wonderful works from the Middle Ages, as well as Chinese art, and other things. It’s an exciting time to be in the field, and we may really need to publish a second volume.

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Are there any artistic periods you are personally drawn to? Are you a collector of hedgehog art and, if so, where might your subjects view some of your private collection?

We usually feel that whatever art we’re looking at is our favorite, but we are uniquely drawn to Art Nouveau works. We are also deeply drawn to Japanese ukiyo-e print making (there is a section on Japanese art in the book). Since we do some work in graphic design, that may be part of the allure of poster art and print making.

And now, more general questions, if I may… As a Princess, you have many responsibilities; do you find these annoying or enjoyable? Are there any you have decided you’d rather not be bothered with and thus have delegated to others?

 

We are a very busy hedgehog, but we like to keep busy. We do try to delegate to tasks that are more physical (or which don’t require the keen intellectual abilities of a hedgehog) over to the handservants. Fortunately, they are reasonably competent so long as one is patient with them.

 

You are the second Princess Pricklepants, having succeeded Princess Penelope; how has she inspired or influenced you as a leader and as a Princess?

Princess Penelope is the stuff of legend, a pioneer in so many fields, and even a presidential candidate. Her example is a daunting one to live up to, though from her we learned that grace, gentleness, good manners, a deep dedication to one’s duties, and careful management of handservants to keep them on task and help them when they get a little confused will yield tremendous results

We also learned from Princess Penelope the importance of developing one’s own vision and voice and pursuing it. While she was more focused on the dramatic arts and being a photo model, we’ve grown more focused on the fine arts, and even learning video animation and production.

We’d recommend taking a look at the book trailer we’ve produced, as well as our various animated features – we’re especially pleased with Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla, and Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla II.

You are known for being a highly visible and vocal advocate for politeness and have also gained a reputation for diplomacy: might you share with your subjects how we might emulate you in our daily lives?

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“Vermeer’s Hedgehog With a Pearl Earring”

We are very glad you asked. Today’s world has seen a sad decline in politeness, manners, and etiquette, and it’s well worth bringing this back to promote a more civil society and civil discourse so we can live together without so many petty conflicts.

 

There’s no better guide to manners than the works of Princess Penelope, which begins here and carries on extensively and in much detail.

https://princesspricklepants.com/2014/11/28/princess-pricklepants-guide-to-politeness-manners-delightfulness-grace-and-related-things/

You have a very active presence on social media: Do you maintain all your accounts, yourself, of have you tasked others to handle your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, and Blog? Further, how do you feel about sharing so much of your personal live—and many adventures—in a public manner? Are there some topics you feel are inappropriate for social media discussion?

As royalty, it is our duty to share updates to the public, and we’re so used to it we don’t really even think about it. We often dictate and delegate the typing to the hand servant, as well as much of the clicking parts, and the photo editing, and photography, but we do most of the work.

While Princess Penelope was a bit more open, we are a little more reserved, which is why you see fewer domestic things generally, but it is our duty to serve as an ambassador of manners, and we find it fun to chat with subjects who chime in on our adventures.

We do keep some things to ourselves, though just common sense things that wouldn’t be good etiquette to share.

 

And finally, four personal questions:

What is currently on your bedside table?

Haley’s Guide to Manners, 2015 edition (the classic), a teapot with a bit of chamomile left and a teacup, and a very small rubber crocodile.

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What music are you currently listening to?

Currently listening to Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Sad he didn’t write a hedgehog piece, it surely would have been glorious.

What are you planning for your next adventure?

We tend to play things by ear, but we’ve heard about a country populated with tiny hedgehogs that we would really like to visit soon. Also there is space travel. Or perhaps working on solving the Mystery of the Moroccan Monkey Mantelpiece. And some are suggesting a trip to Castle Fischer-Price to look for a grail thingie.

Is pink still your favorite color?

Yes, that and indigo. And also emerald green. And sometimes burgundy. Except when it is royal purple.

Thank you for the gracious sharing of your time, Princess; on behalf of your subjects, may I say you are truly an inspiration and we are fortunate to have you.

If you, dear reader, would like to know more about HRH Perdita Pricklepants, she can be found on: Facebook (princesspricklepants)
Twitter (@PPricklepants)
Youtube (urchinwear) Her blog (http://princesspricklepants.com)

And occasionally on Instagram.

 

Hedgehog Art Through the Ages — A Review Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education

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Van Gogh’s The Starry Hedgehog Night

I am an art lover. I am a history lover. I am also a hedgehog lover .
How is it, then, that I was completely, embarrassingly unaware of the vast realm of historical hedgehog art?!

Thankfully, Her Royal Highness, Princess Perdita Pricklepants, and her devoted handservant, S. M. Bach, have devoted so much time and energy to painstakingly researching and documenting this vital, and yet — until now — little known and explored field.

Hedgehog Art Through the Ages is a text that delights, as the authors share with us many recently discovered artistic masterworks. Not only have the authors chosen to include photos of these works, but they have also written engaging, informative comments, introducing the reader to the artists, their place in history, and various important bits about their lives and the masterpieces.

Do not allow yourself to gaze only at the art, only skimming the accompanying text! It is in the words, thoughtfully placed below the images for the ease of finding, that one gains the greatest insights into the importance of each piece. For example, the descriptive words under “The Starry Hedgehog Night”:

Van Gogh’s 1888 “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hiding in the painting, and were concerned, so Vincent repainted the more well known version of the painting. Much could be said, though it’s better to just look at it.

Upon reading the above, I took the authors’ advice and just looked at it.

I was pleased.

The perfect text for any lover of art, of history, of hedgehogs: go forth, purchase, and savor Hedgehog Art Through the Ages!

 

Princess Pricklepants, Musician, Rebel


Dear readers,

Our preamble will be brief, since we’re attempting to disempreambulate our writing. There has been much posted to Facebook/Twitter since our last blog post, far too much to cover here, much of it delightful and entertaining.  There have been many art discoveries that probably merit another post or two, notable Disney things, new hats, and many dozens of other fascinating things of great note we’ve written about elsewhere.  One notable thing was the discovery of old family photos from WW I from an ancestor in the 151st Flying Hedgehogs.

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Also, here are a couple of the hats.

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Rather than bore you with with catching up on all that (which you still can catch up on by visiting Facebook/Twitter), we’ll just begin our story with a picture with words under it.

 

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One day, very recently ago, Princess Pricklepants was sitting in her room chatting with Monkey.

“So Monkey, what are we going to do today?”

“Ooh ooh, ah ah”

“Blast it!  I don’t want to do music lessons!”

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Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice music. While she enjoyed many things, her time with music practice wasn’t always one of those things. Nevertheless, duty called.

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She set out her flute and music stand and started off into space, hoping she might be able to just stand there for a while and somehow call it done.  Surprisingly, this didn’t work.

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“Princess, time to get to practicing.”

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Her Highness decided to hide under the desk and hope nobody would find her until such a time as everyone forgot about music practice and she could enjoy a nice cup of tea and read Hedgehog Art Through The Ages once more, since it somehow got better every time she read it. Surprisingly, this didn’t work.

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She decided to stand and sniff the flute, thinking this might constitute practice.  Boris dropped by to offer some words of encouragement.

“Your Highness, are you familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus?”

“No.”

“It’s the story of a man condemned to push a rock up a hill every day only to find it back at the bottom.  It’s a metaphor for the… Something.  It’s about why we have to do tedious things we don’t like.  Be like Sisyphus and press on.”

“Those were not words of encouragement.”

“Perhaps it’s a metaphor for punishment and suffering then.”

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Jane the Cow Accountant and Bessie the Generic Cow came in to give a pep talk.  Her Highness attempted to sneak off to return the lovely space under the desk.  She crouched so that she would be invisible.

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The crouch of invisibility seemed to work since she also ran very quickly.  Under the desk everything made sense.  It was the best of all possible spaces under a desk.  She tried to crouch a bit so she could continue to be invisible while lingering in sublime sub-desk perfection.  Puzzlingly, she was still quickly discovered.

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Back in the practice room, Jane and Bessie blocked the way to the desk, which Her Highness looked at forlornly.  The alluring space under the desk still beckoned to her, like destiny calling.

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“Do you suppose I could sit quietly and read a Music History book instead?  Dr. Petunia Pricklebottom’s ‘Pointed Notes: A History of Hedgehog Music’ is highly acclaimed and would be quite edifying to a young hedgehog princess’s musical education.”

“No.”

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“Say, I think there might be something under the table.  I should check into that.  Could be important.”

“Ignore it. Just practice.”

“Oh, but it’s… There is something there.  This is just too important.”

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She checked under the table. There wasn’t much there, but it was still very lovely to be under any furniture, and it brought her closer to the Desk of Wonder. Unfortunately along the way she inadvertently tipped a cow, Bessie, who was distraught.

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Back in the practice room there was much discussion of the value of practice, the importance of persistence, and the inappropriateness of tipping cows.  Her Highness listened, and agreed, and tried very hard to practice.  Unfortunately, she had an idea.

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She realized that if she were to crouch low enough, then she would be invisible, which was exactly the thing she needed to reach the desk.

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It seemed to work pretty well.  Very hard to notice.

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But for some reason, it didn’t take long before she was noticed.  The cows attempted to stage an intervention.

Jane explained that all this escape artistry and delaying was just wasting time since she would have to practice at some point.

Bessie explained that crouching did not make one invisible.  Also if cow-tipping were to occur again there would be Consequences.

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In the practice room, Her Highness decided to spend a short while beholding the bust of J. S. Bach in order to gain sufficient inspiration.

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She was inspired to check in the corner where the somewhat objectionable lamp was.

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She then decided to check under the music stand, in case there was any inspiration there.  She didn’t find any.

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She returned to the lovely, inspiring, alluring spot under the desk.  This was the place she truly wanted to remain forever.  A small amount of cow tipping occurred on the journey, but she hoped it wouldn’t be noticeable.

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Unfortunately, the cow tipping was noticed, and Bessie, the tipped cow, fully blocked any possible exit, leaving her forced to face the flute.

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And so, after a few minor distractions, she got to practicing Bach’s Flute Sonata in E Minor, which was lovely.  Once she got playing, it was really quite fun.  After she’d played for an hour and a half, it was time to practice calligraphy.  Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice calligraphy. While she enjoyed many things, her time with calligraphy wasn’t always one of those things. So she decided to hide under the desk.

Stay tuned, Princess Pricklepants and Somehow More Hedgehog Art Through The Ages will be coming soon to a blog near you.  While we enjoy many things, our time with blog posts isn’t always one of those things, and there is the great distraction of that alluring space under the desk.  But we’ll try to get to it soon.

The New Book Is Here!


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It’s here! Our new book is now up on the Createspace site and you can order it:
https://www.createspace.com/6456156

Just go to the page, hit “Add To Cart” then check out, and in some amount of time the book will be in your hands to read, admire, impress friends with, trick museum employees with, confuse art historians with, or to use in any other way you see fit, though we ask you to be nice to the book.

The book features more than 40 works of hedgehog-centric art from various periods of art history along with original amusing and delightful commentary.

Also available on amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Hedgehog-Through-Ages-Steven-Bach/dp/1539641880/

For those across the pond, it’s available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539641880/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_sqkkybZ6B5EGM

If you’re looking for Hedgehog Art Through The Ages Shirts, they can be found here:

http://urchinwear.net/product-category/shirts/hedgehog-art/

Princess Pricklepants, Disliker of Manners


Dear reader,

After a helpful delay to teach readers patience, we have returned.  In the interim there’ve been few messages other than Quentin saying things we won’t repeat on this blog to avoid embarrassing him.

Things have been marching along with Her Highness’ education, without any notable issues or events.  She saved Tokyo, continued in truly fascinating art research, had a Disney adventure, and a few other things, but nothing so noteworthy as to mention in a blog.

And so we begin our story with a picture with words under it.*

*We also being our sentences with conjunctions.

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Princess Pricklepants woke up to another day of learning to be the proper Princess she was born to be, regardless of free will.

Her manners education was not a thing she was very pleased about.  Living with Dinomarm, her manners educator, was not like My Fair Hedgehog. Dinomarm made her walk with books on her head to develop grace and poise.

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The staying on the head part really never quite worked out, and Her Highness really wasn’t so sure about grace and poise.

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Worse, there were tables to crawl under with great grace and poise, but apparently this was poor etiquette according to some picky manners instructors.

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She also had to wear fancy hats.  She was not fond of wearing fancy hats.  Not at all. She was certain that hedgehogs were not born to wear hats.

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Sometimes hats were even worse.

Since she wasn’t delighted by her manners lessons, for a while she’d tried to find places to hide.

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The living room’s IKEA table was too small.

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The kitchen’s IKEA table was also too small.

With no places to hide, Princess Pricklepants decided she did not want to be a hedgehog princess anymore.

And so, Princess Pricklepants decided to be a squirrel.

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Being a squirrel was not bad at first, but when she got hungry, she learned that squirrels eat acorns.  She did not like eating acorns at all. Princess Pricklepants did not want to be a squirrel any more.

And so Princess Pricklepants decided to be a Viking.

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Being a Viking sounded great at first, though when she found out about needing to ride in boats and raid villages in East Anglia, it sounded less great.  When she decided to eat, though, that’s when it all fell apart.  Apparently Vikings only eat lutefisk, and that’s not something anyone should ever eat, really.  Also Vikings wear hats.

Princess Pricklepants did not want to be a Viking any more.

And so Princess Pricklepants decided to be a pirate.

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It turns out there’s really very little difference between being a pirate, and being a Viking, besides the food, but pirate food is best left not discussed, since it’s almost as bad as Viking food.  Also Pirates wear hats.

Princess Pricklepants didn’t want to be a Pirate any more.

And so Princess Pricklepants decided to be a stop-motion animated hedgehog in a dark fantasy musical film feature.

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While there were no hats, this experience immediately failed to be nearly as satisfying as it first seemed, and was deemed a terrible idea quickly. Stop-motion animated hedgehogs in a dark fantasy musical film features don’t eat.

Princess Pricklepants didn’t want to be a stop-motion animated hedgehog any more.

And so she decided to be a clothing model.

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She quickly realized that this was not her calling.  If hats were bad, clothes were much, much worse and not at all suited to a hedgehog, princess or otherwise.

Princess Pricklepants didn’t want to be a clothing model any more.

Her Highness realized that none of these were suited for a hedgehog princess, and that being a hedgehog princess was not nearly as bad as it first had seemed.

So she went back to studying etiquette again since studying etiquette was not nearly as bad as being a squirrel, a viking, a pirate, a stop-motion animated hedgehog in a dark fantasy musical film feature, or a clothing model.

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After all, there was tea and cookies.

 

Princess Pricklepants, Winning Hearts and Minds


Dear readers, our introduction will be brief for this, our latest blog post.

We are required to mention the existence of superb, compelling t-shirts that you clearly want:

 

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Feel their powerful draw, can you resist?

With that complete, we begin our story with a picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants and friends were sitting in a new meeting about Her Highness’ presidential campaign.  They were gaining some supporters, but humans had a strange tendency to support one of the human candidates, despite her clearly being an ideal presidential candidate.

“Item one,” said Jane, “so far we haven’t sold any shirts.”

“The shirts are so delightful, this is a real puzzle,” said Her Highness.

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“I feel like I’m living in a shameless marketing ploy,” said Boris.

“Deal, Mr. Existential. Anyway, they’ve only been up for a day, maybe we need to wait,” said Jane.

“Okay, so what can we do to win more voters,” Princess asked?

“I know what to do,” said Boris, “forget the humans, they’re fickle.  We need woodland creature support.”

Jane protested, “What about farm animals?  The cow vote is critical.”

“Cows never vote,” said Boris, “they’re sheep.”

While the others were bickering, Princess wandered off to go on Twitter, which was where presidents were made these days.  It seemed like just the sort of place for calm, mature discussions of political matters.

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She decided to check in with the squirrels there, since squirrels were a key part of the small furry mammal base she wanted to win over.  She also had read a book about squirrels that she found deeply delightful for some reason.

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In the Twitterverse, she found a politically engaged squirrel, and was delighted…

Wisconsin’s primaries were winding up, and she was excited to see the news about her support from squirrels there.  She didn’t want to hurt any squirrels feelings, so she apologized politely while sharing the news of her support.

The count was ongoing…

Happily, the final count put hedgehogs clearly in the lead:

For some reason there was skepticism.

Her Highness politely pointed to science to help the misguided:

Sadly a minority of squirrel extremists read some misinformation on the internet and became very upset.

But truth reigned supreme.

Sadly, it was clear that some squirrels were reading fringe conspiracy theory web sites…

While most squirrels supported Her Highness, these particular squirrels were less enthusiastic.  And definitely not polite.

Things got even more disappointing…

Disappointing, and clearly rooted in a handful of species-ists.

She realized that she had to reach out to squirrels with kindness and politeness to try to build bridges and promote inter-species understanding.

This worked out, squirrel polls showed even better numbers, so it was time to reach out to other woodland creatures.

With knowledge that support from squirrels, mice, and opossums was growing, she thought about the next core demographics for support – bunnies, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, but was a little tired.  She went back to the living room.  Jane and Boris were still arguing about cows voting. She got some tea, and went to bed.

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She was really not looking forward to the New York and California primaries…

Princess Pricklepants, Educator


A reader who is a 4th grade teacher, and generally awesome person (and also a fine quilter), uses our photos as writing prompts in her class, something we take pride and delight in.  (She’s the cool one who sent us the blankies we used in a number of photos, and you can find more of her fine work here.)

 

Recently she used Bat-Hog as a writing prompt for her class:
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She was kind enough to send some of the amazing, brilliant, funny, and generally wonderful work her students used. Read these, and be pleased, delighted, amused, and generally a little more optimistic – they are all brilliant and need to be shared:

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hogrises (1)

 

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Princess Pricklepants and the Pursuit of the Presidency


Dear readers,

Thanks for your patience during our brief hiatus.

Our reader Mike wrote in a while ago with this excellent bit of fan art, which caused us to need to run Princess Pricklepants for president.

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In those interim months our country has gotten steadily weirder, more confusing, and more absurd to the point that at this point were a hedgehog to actually enter the race it would barely be remarkable.  We apologize in advance that this post is less a story and more a heap of images with bits of text connecting them.

We’ll keep this introduction brief and bring in our first picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants, Boris the Canadian Existentialist Bear, Jane the Cow Accountant, Bessie the Generic Cow, and Christine (Cow Safety Officer) were sitting around the living room.  Her Highness was displeased.  The hat she trying on was really not working, but the boutique it had been purchased from had a No Pets Allowed policy, so she’d need to send the hand servants along to sort things out again.  Usually she accepted these things with the dignity and grace befitting a hedgehog of high station, but this time this indignity, this utter injustice of Pet Prejudice touched a tipping point.

“I think we should do something to solve Pet Prejudice,” she said.

Boris was inspired, “Indeed, we must take a grand stand against these injustices humanity foists upon us.  I propose that we all go on strike, and refuse to participate as characters in any more stories.”

This idea was poorly understood, and not generally accepted.

Jane had an idea, “You could run for mayor and make a local ordinance.”

This idea was poorly understood, and not generally accepted.

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Princess Pricklepants proposed a profound plan, “All the humans on Twitter are constantly chattering about the election. I formally declare that I shall run for president of the United States. I will fix these foolish laws and also serve as a proper president.”

Jane was concerned, “I’m concerned.”

“How so?”

“I’m fairly sure that hedgehogs can’t be president. Even if you could, how would you run a campaign ? That would be expensive, complex, and totally impractical.”

Princess Pricklepants got Bessie and Christine to check into it. They googled the Constitution and verified that Article Two didn’t list being a human as a requirement.  This was not a problem.

Then she remembered, “You know my old friend Fancy?  They’ve served on a few campaigns as a campaign manager, we can get them to do the campaign-y things, then I’ll be elected, I’ll fix everything, and we do what Presidents do, teaching everyone manners, making new holidays, and putting an end to the perils of pet prejudice.”

“I don’t think that this is what Presidents do,” noted Boris, “also, Fancy is a puppet.”

Jane added, “Didn’t you have a bit of a falling out with Fancy?”

Princess Biting Fancy

There had been a few tense moments in the past, but Princess Pricklepants sent a few texts, and before they knew it Fancy had arrived to start their campaign. Thus they formed the Prickle Party since presidents were supposed to have parties.

Boris had a pointed question, “Fancy, you are a puppet.  Humans do not take puppets seriously.  How are you expecting any of this to work?”

Fancy had a simple response, “Well, Boris, you see, most politicians are puppets, nothing to worry about old pal.”

“Please do not call me ‘old pal'”

“Sure thing, old buddy.”

“Please do not belabor this conversation, there is a lot left to do if we want to have even a semblance of a plot.”

“K-O, old chum.”

“Please simply nod in agreement without using words from this point forward unless you have anything substantive to add.”

Fancy nodded.  It was a jaunty puppet nod, with a bit of a flourish at the end.

Christine had been looking into matter as well.  “Fancy, how do you explain this?”

Snazzy Misbehaving

“Look, that’s my cousin Snazzy.  They’re a triceratops, I’m a giraffe.  Come on, folks.  Now Snazzy, they’ve got a very long, very complicated relationship with the Jungle Cruise ride in Disneyland, and yeah, sure it’s weird, but that it’s nothing humans wouldn’t think of as totally normal.”

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This seemed reasonable enough, so they carried on with the plan.

Princess was delighted. A presidential campaign meant the opportunity to fight the good fight against Pet Prejudice.

Jane was delighted. A presidential campaign meant regular meetings, briefings, planning, and control.

Boris was delighted. A presidential campaign was as close to a mythic quest as they could ever get.

Christine was not delighted, as security was a huge pain, but nobody really listened.

While the others were busy being delighted, Bessie sat down and worked on a campaign poster:

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Princess had a few points of constructive criticism. “Bessie, that is not me.”

“Oh, I just did a google image search for a hedgehog, did it need to be you specifically?”

“Yes.”

“Oh…  Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“I guess we can fix that.”

“Also, the year is off, it should be 2016.  Besides that it’s excellent.”

Dates were hard since Bessie was a computer programmer, but she took a second try.

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It was well accepted.  There were some grumblings by an unnamed bear that it looked more like a calendar than a campaign poster, but these were handled by indeterminate mumbling.

“Okay, poster complete.  Now we need a slogan.”

“Pets are people.”

“No.”

“Fight for the rights of pets and other disenfranchised animals that should have a part in the political process and enjoy the blessings of liberty.”

“Too wordy.”

Boris suggested, “Make America More Canadian.”

This was confusing and quickly rejected.

Princess came up with an idea, “Make America Polite Again.”

This was generally accepted well.  Boris mentioned that this would be making America more Canadian, so it was fine.

Bessie worked on some more campaign materials.

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This one was sublime.  Now they were cooking with gas.  Fancy mentioned that they needed to start a media campaign ASAP, so they started posting the image on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and wherever else they could get the word out.

The word got out, but not exactly as planned.

The first to hear was Hillary Clinton.  She was not pleased, as dogs, guinea pigs, and birds were often Democratic voters.  Even with cats as swing voters this was a problem.

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Fancy pulled some strings and managed to arrange a brief intro. between Princess and Donald Trump.

GOP 2016 Debate

This went very poorly.  Mr. Trump was not at all polite.  We cannot in good conscience repeat any of the things he said here.  After this meeting Her Highness was distressed. She decided she’d chat with him on Twitter instead, since with that many people watching he’d surely be more thoughtful and polite.

Fancy reached out to Ted Cruz.  Cruz stated he would not meet with Her Highness since she didn’t go to an Ivy League school.  He did send an autographed picture, though.

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This was confusing and quickly ejected.  Boris was alarmed, “I now realize that the author is not merely incompetent, but horrifying.  I would like a new universe now, please.”

Princess was worried that Ted might become confused after his inevitable failure in the primaries and tried to keep him from worrying.

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Fancy arranged a call with Marco Rubio.  Rubio said she knew exactly what she was doing. Then he said she knew exactly what she was doing. After this he said she knew exactly what she was doing.  It was confusing, but seemed positive.  She sent him a  friendly note on Twitter, hoping that since they’d hit it off, he might be willing to assist.

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Bernie Sanders’ campaign did not respond, though apparently he did not take her very seriously, as Prickle Party campaign operatives overheard him say the following:

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For reasons that are difficult to explain, Clint Eastwood believed he was running against Princess Pricklepants.  He spent an hour talking at an empty chair until an assistant brought in some poor assistant’s pet hedgehog (named Bruce Quillis).  Fortunately Bruce Quillis didn’t speak English.

Republican National Convention

While the other parties were holding their primaries to sort out which candidate would run for their party, the Prickle Party primary ended much earlier. Princess Pricklepants got all the votes since there were no other candidates running.

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Well, there was a single write-in for Boris, but there were nearly a dozen votes for Princess Pricklepants, Prickle Party Presidential Candidate, Protector of Pets Rights, and Promoter of Politeness.  A post-it note on the refrigerator demanded a recount, but in the end the votes were unnecessary, for the Lady of the Lake held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that Princess Pricklepants was the Prickle Party Presidential Candidate.

This inspired her to write a poem.

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Since they like making campaign art much more than talking to humans or campaigning, they worked on a delightful campaign poster.

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With Princess Pricklepants poised as the Prickle Party Presidential pick, now was the long wait for the other parties to get themselves together and pick someone.

Princess imagined the eventual debate where each candidate could calmly and rationally offer their thoughts to try to show why their ideas and policy positions would be best and most effective.  Princess Pricklepants’ powers of polite persuasion would provoke a powerful positive change.  Surely it was a historical inevitability that we would soon see something like:

GOP 2016 Debate

And shortly after that manifest destiny would be realized:

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And with that, our post has reached a point well past the 1,000 word limit that came and quickly flew past.

Stay tuned for our next episode to find out if the hedgehog will get on the ballot, if the media will allow her into the debates, whether Fancy will manage to get a ground campaign to take the states, whether campaign funding will come into play, whether Mitt Romney will somehow get dragged into all of this, and many other things unless in the next episode we just pretend none of this ever happened since this presidential campaign is somehow more ridiculous than anything we can manage to come up with.