Princess Pricklepants Presents Stoats as a Measurement – Delightful Details


In case you missed it, here is the full comic:

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We updated the masthead to use “An Artful Web Comic of Delight and Wonder” a while back, but sometimes accidentally use the old one. Whoops. While this is sort of issue 14, issue 12ish had a few posts, so we’ve decided to count them as one since it’s just easier that way.  We haven’t mentioned it before, but we always put the issue number in the upper left hedgehog.

This comic was dedicated to a running joke from March Mammal Madness where Stoats as a Measurement has been ongoing in describing various mammals stats for many years now. If you search for the #StoatsAsAMeasurement on Twitter you’ll find a treasure trove of wonderful things.

(2019’s March Mammal Madness is coming pretty soon, and should be excellent. Mammal battle brackets, science, education, interesting mammals you’ve probably never heard of before, lots of things coming together. On Twitter you can follow 2019MMMLetsGo and search for the  hashtag, there’s much to see. There’s also a Facebook version though Twitter’s where the action really is.)

There’s even an excellent print by Charon Henning:

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(available here)

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The updated Pricklepants Labs logo featuring a stoat nucleus really just pleases us somehow.

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We made the art for this a good while ago in prep for this comic, and liked it so much we had to share back then. We still like it.  The little paintings, the serious expressions of hedgehog and stoat, the careful drawing of the quills. It really comes together.

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We initially were thinking we were going to draw a big pile of 1,200 stoats for this, but since we started working on this comic two days ago, we realized that wasn’t going to happen. The American black bear’s weight actually has a wide variation, from 90 lb/41 kg/297 stoats to 550 lb/250 kg/1815 stoats.

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Tardigrades are fascinating, microscopic, nearly indestructible little water bears. When they go into their state of cryptobiosis, tardigrades can survive extremes of temperature, radiation, and even the vacuum of space. They’ve been around since the Cretaceous and survived multiple mass extinction events, probably thanks to this microscopic superpower.

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You might have wondered why we included a picture of a 737 in our comic. We have been busy with a lot of things (and have been playing far too much Disney Emoji Blitz) and sort of lost track, so we started this Thurs. night in a panic. We happened to have done a drawing of a 737 in October that we liked. Problem solved.

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Don’t forget Valentine’s Day is coming! We had made a Stoat Valentine a little while back, so this was another case of recycling to save time. While the original’s style is pretty, it wasn’t well suited to a comic.

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Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, here’s a free, very affectionish Valentine for you. The bee, stoat, and chickadee aren’t to scale with each other, but to took some artistic liberties. It turns out we really like drawing bees and birds. That chickadee still really pleases us. Perhaps a Princess Pricklepants, Ornithologist will be coming up since we’ve discovered we really like drawing birds.

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We hope you enjoyed this comic, even with a subject matter that wasn’t very hedgehog-centric, and with a rather abrupt ending.

Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula Part II – Delightful Details


Today we published Princess Pricklepants Presents issue no. 8: Count Hogula Part II (we forgot we needed a title until it was too late).  In case you missed it, here it is:

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We didn’t go into the details of the previous comic since it was a little less exciting art-wise, and seemed pretty straightforward. It was mostly prep to get us to this comic.

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Since Bat-Hog entered the graveyard Hogula is in, we got to make everything Goreyesque, which is good. We’re not great with the comic styling we were using in the previous comic, and don’t especially like it, so we were very happy to escape to this.  Also coloring is hard, so all black-and-white is nice, except shading with crosshatching is harder than coloring, so darn.

The highly hatched hog-rocket landing generally pleased us. We fiddled with it a lot, and would have fiddled more only at some point you just have to stop. It doesn’t quite draw the eye to tell the story of the landing as much as we’d like, but we’re picky. Bat-hog’s determined walk through the bleak snowy graveyard towards the crypt, the tombstones, the crypt in the distance, these we like. In the layout we bled the two top panels together to give some sense of motion.

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A dramatic meeting. We worked on each expression for a good while to get a very serious, stern Bat-Hog. Empty white holes in a mask are nice and easy for making expressions. We made a much more mysterious Hogula that invited multiple readings. Bat-Hog’s quills are a lot more varied than Hogula’s since he just crashed in a Hog-Rocket. The conceit for the bottom panels gets set up here, writ small.

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We put a tiny message in here about the shadows, because it’s not how shadows work. We fiddled a while, reached a point where we could live with the wrongness, and left a confessional note. Nice dramatic left panel, I think. We added the bats late, but once we thought of it, they really helped things pop.

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Bat-Hog’s quills will never settle until crime has ended. The shadows again, let’s not talk about those. We played up the mirrored Bat-Hog and Hogula, each with their long dark cape/cloaks, their bats, and other similarities for the comic, but now we really want to make a vampire Batman just to test things out some more.

We left things hanging with poor Hogula complaining about suffering unfair prejudice by the living, next week we will fill in more, so stay tuned.

Princess Pricklepants And Our Inaugural Webcomic Issue


Hi everyone!

Today we presented our first installment of Princess Pricklepants Presents, an artful webcomic of delight and wonder. The single greatest webcomic ever created by us. Since this is our first comic, we had a lot to say that didn’t fit in the little speech bubbles, so in this post we’ll share details of the art, comments on things, and notes about notes. In case you missed the comic, here it is:

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In this comic we managed to include references/homages to Alphonse Mucha, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Magritte, Rembrandt, the Flammarion Engraving, Hergé, with subtle references to a few other artists of note, as well as hitting the minimum recommended daily allowance of jokes, both visual and written. We also drew a whole lot of quills.

Perhaps you’re asking, “why a web comic?” Well, you might remember that Princess Penelope Pricklepants used to write stories on our blog featuring herself as a model. Now take a look at this rare behind the scenes photo of Princess Perdita Pricklepants.

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As you can see, Princess Perdita is not at all fond of posing, and immediately on coming on set, is ever intent on climbing under any and every element of the set, making the old format much, much more difficult.

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But we still liked telling stories and we’ve been making art that told stories. We even made a few early web comic sorts of things like Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery in the Hundred Acre Woods and Princess Pricklepants, Astrophysicist. Also we’d made little single panel comics like this off and on.

 

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So a proper webcomic is a natural progression, and it seems like a nice way to do the kind of things we like to do. Doing these is a fair bit of work, so we created ten comics before we published to make sure we were up to the task, so you’ll be (hopefully) happy to know there’s definitely more to come. We also have many plans for more comics, and hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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While this might come as a surprise, we’re huge fans of Art Nouveau and especially Alphonse Mucha, so our title image is a cartoon homage, mixing the silly and sublime in what we hope was the right ratio.

 

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Now you probably noticed the Magritte between the Leonardo and the Michelangelo, and thought to yourself that there had to be some kind of symbolism of a surrealist sandwich with Renaissance bread. You are very astute, dear reader! There is indeed symbolism there.

While not so easy to see in the full comic, we were really happy with the comic version of Magritte:

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The apple’s brush strokes, the subtle two-dimensional cubist geometric clouds, the hat’s shading… It is a tiny happy thing.

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Michelangelo in comic form. I bet if he’d thought of it, he’d have done it this way.

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It’s a self-evident truth that monkeys and squirrels improve everything they’re involved in. While drawing this panel, we learned a few things. First, drawing each quill and coloring them individually is a lot of work. Second, hand painting each individual square in the gingham tablecloth to define the form was probably a mistake. Third, chairs are surprisingly hard to draw.

If you’ve ever read the Tintin comics by Hergé, you’ll be familiar with the comic style called ‘ligne claire’ or ‘clear line’ which we’re using here. It’s one of our favorites. The lines are drawn with a consistent pen width, there’s no hatching/shading lines, there’s a consistent naturalistic perspective, all forms in the image are in focus with each object clearly outlined, coloring tends towards lighter tones, and in general there are no shadows. (We took a few liberties with the tablecloth and chair cover because we’re free.) We’re not going to be using this style aways, but we really like it, so expect more.

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You have no idea how many times we repainted this and changed colors around and fiddled with the stars. The hedgehog running in the wheel space station is a highly hedgehog-centric joke we couldn’t resist. If you’ve looked somewhat obsessively you’ll have noticed that we’ve drawn hedgehog quills in three different styles in the first three panels.

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If you’re new to this blog, you might not be familiar with our cow, bear, and robot friends. We’d encourage you to catch up on some of our favorites:

Princess Pricklepants, Startup Founder Extraordinaire

Princess Pricklepants’ Guide To Politeness, Manners, Delightfulness, Grace, and Related Things

Princess Pricklepants, Magnificent Mender of Monkey Manners

Princess Pricklepants, Blogger, Anarchist (An early work, and odd, but still a fave.)

There are many more in the archives.

There’s much more to say about our friends, but we’ll be introducing you over time. Now, let’s take a closer look at that cartoonified Rembrandt hedgehog in the back.

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Just look at it!  Magnificent gloriousness.

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And of course, we had to include a close-up and a nerd joke. Penning those quills took much time. Since this was our inaugural comic, we perhaps took the detail in the art a little further than we’re going to for every comic. In the end, we used five (or maybe six) stylizations for quills. We believe that is a record, and will be contacting Guinness.

We’re looking forward to sharing our comics with you. We’re currently planning to publish weekly on Saturdays, though there’s a chance we’ll change to biweekly, since they are actually a good bit of work to make.  If you’re not following us, please follow us on social media where we share comics, art, jokes, and all sorts of wonderful things.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/princesspricklepants/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PPricklepants

Tumblr: https://princesspenelopepricklepants.tumblr.com

or you can follow our blog with the little link thing on the side.

We also have an Instagram account, but note that we won’t be posting comics there (with the scale we prefer, they just won’t fit): https://www.instagram.com/princessperditapricklepants/

If you like our art, you can find shirts, posters, mugs, notebooks, zipper bags, and other delightful things on our Etsy Shop.

We also have a wider variety of tee shirts on Amazon.

Do let us know if you have any feedback, questions, or comments, we’d love to hear from you. (Twitter/Facebook preferred, but any work). See you next week. Excelsior!

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Princess Pricklepants and the Open Letter to the Australia Tourism Bureau


Dear Australian Tourism Bureau,

First thanks for having an Australia to promote as a Tourism Bureau, it’s a lovely place.  We had a genuinely delightful trip to your continent/country.  While we saw only a little of a huge place, what we saw was wonderful, excellent, and amazing.  But.  Unfortunately, with all due respect, and in full politeness, you have failed us terribly as a country, continent, and tourism bureau.

You might not be familiar with who we are, since Her Highness is not so well known in Australia, so we should briefly introduce ourselves.

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We are hedgehog aficionados, regular commenters on hedgehog culture, and deeply dedicated to the study of hedgehog arts, literature, history, etc.  Therefore, the echidna, the most hedgehog-like animal was the one we specifically visited Australia to meet. And yet, somehow, we did not see a single echidna.*

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We saw this kangaroo mom with her joey, mom standing in an area that seemed like a fine meeting place for echidnas, yet look very, very carefully at that photo. The most prominent aspect of the photo is a clear lack of echidna.

Echidna-ness-less matters deeply to us.  Not only are echidnas very hedgehog-esque, making them subjects of great interest, but they are also monotremes who lay eggs and raise their young in a pouch like a platypus and have a very ancient divergence from other mammals that makes them extremely fascinating.  The fact that they are adorable also made them a very important animal to meet.  Look at this photo someone else took when they were blessed with a meeting with an echidna!

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Everyone in the world obviously would want to meet one of those, and as a tourism bureau you know this! Naturally, we assumed Australia would deliver on our reason for going there.

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Echidnas aren’t Australia’s national animal (oddly), but they are still a prominent national symbol.  Looking closely at this Australian flag, you might spot the echidna cleverly embedded in it…

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It’s part of the echidna constellation.  Echidnas play a large and prominent role as a national symbol, another reason we came to the Homeland of Echidnas (our motto for Australia which we really think Australia ought to adopt, please consider this, Australian Tourism Bureau).

It’s such a lovely place.  Gorgeous coastlines everywhere and beaches that feel like this:

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We began our trip in Tasmania, which is a majestic wonderful place full of rugged natural beauty and very long hikes that leave your legs sore but you happily run out and do more of the next day. There are so many beautiful and fascinating habitats all full of slightly odd but lovely plant species (so many lovely mosses and ferns and the fern trees are glorious), as well as animals that were all new and interesting.

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Wild koalas are fascinating and adorable and we saw them a number of times! Amazing!  What’s also amazing is that many and various websites discussing these areas mentioned echidnas as a thing you would see sometimes, we were fully expecting to meet an echidna to help promote interspecies friendship and understanding, yet there were none.   Many of those websites mentioning the high echidna levels contained in Tasmania had ads from the Australian Tourism Bureau so you knew full well that you were promoting this information that was completely false as we met no echidnas.  Our concerned queries to locals claimed that it was colder so they were going into hibernation, a thing these websites had not mentioned, or maybe something we skimmed past a bit.  No echidnas.  This is on you Australia.

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We did have the distinct pleasure of meeting Molly the wombat and having some really wonderful talks/experiences with her and several other wombats. We stayed at the Wombat Haven in Tasmania, an orphanage for wombats whose mothers have died (generally in car accidents).  Wombats are rather unusual in that they’re very playful and sweet as children (young wombats are called “joeys”), but they hit a terrible teen stage where all bonding to humans is dropped, and they become the grumpy, solitary, and kind of frightening animals we know and love in the wild without issues from initial human and/or hedgehog contact.  We guiltlessly pet a wombat joey and played with it. They are very playful and intelligent little wonderful creatures of marvel and happiness.

Molly The Wombat Meets the Princess

We enjoyed introducing Molly to the Pricklepants Media Empire.  She was delighted.  We worked on opening up possible interspecies kindness and mutual tolerance were hedgehogs and wombats to interact.

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We also introduces Molly to hedgehog art, which she was also delighted by.  She liked this notebook’s art so much she even tried to eat it!

So, with that kind of an experience with a wombat (a creature rare to see in the wild, though we did see one in Hobart at the Waterworks Reserve), a creature much less common to encounter than an echidna in Australia, we assumed this portended well for the Echidna Emissary Quest we had made the long journey for.

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We saw a lot of very pretty parrots in the trees in Australia like this crimson rosella.  Just look at it!

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There were a lot of parrots.  These red-rumped parrots were also fairly common.  It was a little distracting, since we know echidnas do not dwell in trees, but we had to look in them regularly as there were parrots in them. We still did monitor every potential echidna habitat with great care.

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We spent a lot of time at aquatic habitats like this one where we saw this lovely white-necked stilt.  The shore birds were sometimes the same as those one would see elsewhere in the world, but with many species like this that have similar relatives elsewhere making them extra interesting.

For instance, these brolga are huge cranes with relatives like the sandhill cranes in the US.  Magnificent creatures, and an absolute privilege to be able to see such a glorious thing in nature.

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While the parrots were the show stealers, the finches were absolutely gorgeous.  The red-browed finches above are also known as Firetails for their bright red rumps.  We also saw a wild flock of zebra finches which was fascinating and wonderful!

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We saw a lot of rainbow lorikeets, another bird common in the pet trade out in the wild living their best rainbow lorikeet lives, which was wonderful.  Again note that in all these pictures there have been no echidnas!

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One parrot we saw quite a lot of was cockatoos.  They’re very beautiful birds.

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While beautiful, they did attempt to steal our binoculars. They can become a bit too clever if people leave food out for them, though this is really a human-related issue.

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Cockatoos are very clever. Despite our directing the handservants to close that lid and even put a rock on it, they managed to find their way in.

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We also saw emu chicks, and melted inside.  Emus get to be about as big as ostriches.

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Please, share the road with Emus.

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We did meet one King Parrot, and it was delightful to make a calling on parrot royalty.  While slightly less polite than we had expected, they were very noble, lovely, graceful, and generally stunning. Their etiquette issues only appeared in areas humans were hand feeding them, which is a human issue, really.  They remained uninterested in our Echidna Emissary Quest.

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The Great Ocean Road was especially beautiful as there were lovely islands, beaches, habitats with various interesting creatures, a fern rainforest that was near magical, and general loveliness all around.

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We also met a number of laughing kookaburras.  Their call is featured as a generic “jungle” sound in various movies, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tarzan, Jurassic Park and other films not set in Australia which made hearing them very curious.  They’re very patient birds that don’t mind people or hedgehogs much, so they were very nice, though none had seen echidnas.

Another Great Ocean Road View

I don’t think we mentioned the lighthouses, but there many lovely sweeping views from the cliffs, and the heather and other habitats we meandered through were all lovely in themselves and full of birds, especially fairy-wrens.

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Fairy-wrens!  Superb fairy-wrens are cute little birds, small puffs that are fairly curious and great tiny hunters. The males are incredibly lovely in their breeding plumage (less showy but still lovely in their non breeding plumage).

There are so many other new and fascinating things we saw, like spoonbills.

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And New Holland Honeyeaters that were incredibly common.

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And so many birds of prey!  Many kites, a number of hawks, and even a few falcons.  And we saw the strange and super-cleverly camouflaged frogmouth.

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We saw the frogmouth at the Serendip Sanctury where it was captive and part of a breeding program.  Despite much time spent searching for frogmouths at the Victoria Botanical Gardens (lovely place) and elsewhere we did not find any.  Much like echidnas.

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We also met many wallabies as well which are macropods like the kangaroo, but smaller and more common in most areas we were in.

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While we have mentioned the breathtaking views, they were really stunning.  This is honeymoon cove in Freycinet National Park.  It’s literally impossible to look at this cove and not experience a sense of awe, wonder, and delight.  And yet even with that, there is still that nagging sense of lack of echidnas.*  Australia Tourism Bureau, why did you hide the echidnas from us? We don’t expect a refund, that would be unreasonable.  But we would be very pleased and happily accept were you were to offer a replacement Echidna Emissary Quest so we could have a do-over and find your national animal.

Kind and Noble Regards,

Princess Pricklepants

(and handservants not notable enough to be named)

*  We did see one echidna in a wildlife rescue

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this doesn’t count.  It was nearly hibernating, and since we must meet animals in the wild in their natural habitat for it to actually count.**

** Also, at one point drive we were driving along the road, the handservant driver spotted the echidna, turned around to investigate, but the echidna fled almost instantly, long before there was any hope of a photographic record which makes spotting wildlife count doubly since there’s clear evidence and nearly properly counts.***

*** To properly count we need an excellent photo.

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For example, this photo’s reasonably well shot for an action shot, nicely composed, tells a story that’s very interesting, and has great things going on with color.  We expected something similar with an echidna, obviously.****

**** Now we’re done with these footnotes.  If you’re reading this, thank you for your careful followup and attention to detail.

 

Princess Pricklepants and the New Etsy Shop


Hi everyone,

We’re excited to announce that we’ve made a new Etsy store full of many and various wonderful things. In addition to the endlessly delightful tee shirts, we have lovely designs on mugs, sweatshirt/hoodies, notebooks, pencil bags, phone cases, posters, and even leggings.  Happily, the notebooks can be ordered with lined, blank, graph, or bullet (dot) paper.

We order samples of things to ensure quality is up to our standards, and the notebooks are especially wondrous (perfect printing/registration, excellent paper, nice binding), though we also love the mugs (really excellent printing as well), and the pencil bags are both beautifully printed and basically just right.

Here are a few samples with a helpful hedge-model.

A lovely pencil bag:

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A notebook both stunning and really very good as a notebook.

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And mugs of joy and delight:

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And look, here’s one out in the wild:

For our loyal blog readers we’re offering a special coupon – 15% off two or more items.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/UrchinWearShirts?coupon=BLOGREADER

If you’re looking for a delightful, witty, charming hedgehog-related gift, or just feeling the need for a hedgehog lifestyle accessory, please do take a look.  We really hope you’ll be pleased.

Finally, if there’s any design we’ve made in the past that you’ve liked but don’t see, please do let us know – we are happy to do custom orders.

 

Princess Pricklepants, Astrophysicist


Dear reader,

We have happy news!  We wrote a children’s book which we weren’t enthralled with so we set it aside and wrote a couple more children’s books until we found a story we really liked.  We’re in the (long, not very easy) process of illustrating it now.

This little story was mostly just created to force ourself to practice at illustrating (still working at it).  Hence there are no photos, though there are still many pictures with words under them.

The book itself will be a long slow slog since we’re going to be submitting to publishers and all that business.  If anyone has any helpful advice on that front, we’d be delighted to hear it.

And now we begin with our first nicely illustrated picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants was sitting at the table with a nice cup of tea on a quiet day, thinking about things, which was her favorite thing to do.  After a bit of reflection she was overcome with an unusually strong feeling that she should do something good for the world, something big. Really big.

She ran into Sam, a trusted old friend who’d always been there, and had been in many adventures, despite what some pedantic nerds might say about it. “Hi Sam, I’m working on something big!”

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After fourteen seconds, Sam the sloth had finished asking, “aren’t you already big enough?”

Her Highness made a note to schedule another manners lesson with Sam.

“We need to have a talk about manners.  Soon.  But not yet, as I’m working on something big.”

After a long silence that implied quiet agreement, Her Highness wandered off to the study.

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Approximately ten seconds after she had left, Sam had finally finished saying, “no, but I didn’t mean you were big like that.” Alas, he saw Her Highness was already gone.  Sam hoped that was the end of the excitement for the day and decided it was time to slow things down a bit.

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Her Highness decided to develop a theory of astrophysics that explained dark matter more satisfactorily than current models. That seemed big in every sense.

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As she worked, it felt like she was in some kind of wonderful montage with a cool, kind of edgy pop soundtrack driving her quickly towards a discovery that would take far too long to describe in a narrative story format.

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She developed her hypothesis:

Dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks!

So elegant!  It explained dark matter.  It explained the mysteries of pens disappearing all the time.  It explained singleton socks.  It fit the evidence – socks and pens both had mass. This was science and this was big.

She performed an experiment to test her hypothesis.  She took a nice pen out to a patisserie where she bought some nice macarons (mmm).

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When she returned, the pen was gone.  She then looked everywhere for it and even got helpers to look.  It was nowhere to be found, thus proving it was nowhere on Earth and must have drifted off into space.  Eureka!  Science!

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She brought her paradigm shifting work to the Forest Science Council to explain, but the idea that dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks was received surprisingly poorly.  Mr. Badger went so far as to call the idea “tosh,” which seemed rather extreme. After a disappointing meeting, she returned home to have a cup of tea and work out a better plan for sharing her amazing new scientific paradigm.

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As luck would have it, that very evening the James Webb Space Telescope was brought online, and discovered remarkably unusual and unexpected forms in dark matter which the surprised space scientists described as “like a bunch of pens and socks.”

Princess Pricklepants was delighted to hear this news!  With this evidence, her science was even more science-y!

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She returned to the Forest Science Council to present her case with this new data, knowing there would be much less risk of having her theory labeled “tosh.”

Unfortunately, despite unimpeachable empirical evidence backing her case, the theory was still not well received.  Ms. Bluejay was still concerned.  Thus far the council had only seen a few articles on Facebook, but no serious academic work, and the Forest Science Council had just issued another advisory to not trust science journalism posted in exuberant articles on social media until one had reviewed the original research.

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Her Highness briefly considered renting a skywriter to send the message “Dark Matter: Really Lost Pens And Socks!” but deemed it impolite to write on the sky.  Also, skywriting wasn’t exactly scientific…  Still, it was fun to imagine.

She realized that she would have to write a paper including the notes and research from the James Webb Space Telescope space scientist people along with her own significant parts.

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Happily, once the Forest Council reviewed the work, they agreed that her work in the sciences was indeed valuable and significant, and the paper was published in their newsletter.

While it felt strange to have a story wrap up with so few twists, fairly minor conflicts, and personal stakes that really weren’t very high, she was pleased enough with the illustrations, and was honestly pretty relieved to know what had happened to all those socks and pens.

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“Sam, in my heart I’ve missed spending time on art history, manners, and related things, even if they aren’t big.  I suppose being small is still fine.”

“Silly Princess, your work on art and manners and that other stuff amuses, delights, and brings a bit of wonder to the world.  That’s no small thing.”

“Well thank you, Sam,” said Princess Pricklepants politely.

The End

 

 

 

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Princess Pricklepants and the Never Ending Story of Hedgehog Art Through the Ages


(previously)

Dear everyone,

We regret we’ve been remiss in reporting our wonderful journey into the world of hedgehog art history.  The good news is we’re working on a children’s book that should be something delightful and quirky assuming everything works out well.

We’ve discovered quite a number of works since the book was published.  In case you’ve forgotten to buy the book, you can find it here.  Well worth buying.  And if you already have a copy, you’ll find a second copy incredibly useful as you can read it in stereo.

While the book covered the period from the Renaissance forward, here we present works from the prehistoric to the Modern era.  We’re so excited to share these, we’ll skip a wordy introduction and present our first picture with words under it.

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We begin with a truly thrilling discovery. Further archaeological research of the El Castillo cave paintings discovered in Cantabria, Spain, has discovered this, the earliest hedgehog art yet discovered. The work, from c. 39,000 BCE, used stencils and ochre to create this simple but charming and historic painting.

 

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This is a doubly exciting find. First we present a recent discovery of an ancient papyrus (apparently inadvertently misplaced by E. A. Wallis Budge in a nook in the British Museum) presents a fascinating view of what scholars believe is a hedgehog goddess judging the souls of the deceased. Equally fascinating is that the transliteration of the hedgehog goddess’ name in Egyptian is ‘eid-zil-la’ – it appears that we have discovered the most ancient reference yet know in art history to Hedgezilla!

 

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Here we present a truly remarkable Assyrian bas relief of the Assyrian Hedgehog warrior goddess, Kwillamash, aiding soldiers in a siege. This piece is a detail from the North Palace at Nineveh belonging to Ashurbanipal (668-631 B.C.E.). This piece was only recently discovered in 1985, though was lost in Mosul in 2003, and is now only preserved in photos. It’s believed that Kwillamash was represented by a hedgehog due to their legendary ferocity and deadly quills.

 

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This Greek red figure vase from the early 5th c. presents many mysteries to the hedgehog art historian. It’s possible that the figures depict the tale of Aleterix answering the riddle of the Sphinx (in an unusual Lydian hedgehog form), or alternately this might a tale of Croesis where the figures were replaced with hedgehogs, or one of several dozen other accounts because hedgehog art historians with time on their hands can fill in blanks is all sorts of ways. Regardless, so far as as ancient hedgehog art goes, this is a wondrous masterpiece worthy of a long discussion we will spare you, dear reader, out of the kindness of our hearts.

 

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Here we present a charming Medieval manuscript depicting a hedgehog battling an owl. 15th c., from the Hatton Manuscript. This margin drawing depicts a hedgehog armed with sword and shield fighting an owl. Monks of the era must surely have known about the owl’s cruel habits and enjoyed drawing the underdog getting the upper hand.

 

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Sacred Hedgehog of Mary, Stained Glass, Cathedral of Trier (1430s). This is a very… odd work. Originally commissioned for the cathedral by Otto von Ziegenhain, Bishop of Trier. At the time due to an outbreak of lead poisoning there was a dire shortage of stained glass artists. A mysterious artisan named Egelkopf appeared and offered his assistance. While he was quite skilled in glasswork, he was quite poor at following instructions, and oddly obsessed with hedgehogs. While Bishop Ziegenhain was displeased at the results, and the piece created some controversy, it was eventually accepted. At some point later the phrase “NESCIMUS QUID SIT ERICIUS IN FENESTRA” (we don’t know why there’s a hedgehog there) was inscribed below so people would stop asking.

Egelkopf has been found listed in the mysterious manuscript from the 1500s, “Annales sermonum sublimis inter homines circa erinacei” (Annals of acts of greatness by humans to hedgehogs), a document deserving greater scholarly attention.

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Recently discovered, Da Vinci’s L’Ultima Cena Ma Con Ricci (The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs) is difficult to explain, but clearly means something, and something big.  We’ve spent many long hours examining this work and seeking the secret meanings, and believe we’re onto something very, very big.  We’ve reached out to Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown about the many new layers of mysterious and conspiratorial meaning this adds to everything, though so far he hasn’t been very polite.

 

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One Da Vinci isn’t really enough, so here we share this, a likely second.  Vitruvian Hedgehog (c. 1490). Experts remain unsure whether the work is an original by Da Vinci, or a student’s sketch, but we think those experts are just afraid to admit the truth partially revealed in The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs which prove this is also a Da Vinci.  Regardless of origin, or experts being picky about things, the work illustrates the perfection of proportions, and remarkable mathematical harmonies found in the hedgehog form.

Sorry to double-up on artists, this is the last time we’ll do that.

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Monet’s “Hedgehog with a Parasol” (1874). This masterpiece of hedgehog impressionism is so well known it needs no description other than simple words like “painting,” “pretty,” “awesome,” and perhaps a few other descriptive terms you can come up with yourself.

 

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Okay, this one was in the book.  But we’re throwing it out there, since it’s a Van Gogh, and we haven’t blogged about it, and it’s truly delightful to behold repeatedly. “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room in 1888. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hidden 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.

 

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Remember when we said we wouldn’t double up on artists?  We don’t either.  Here we present Vincent Van Gogh’s 1889 self-portrait, painted in the sanitarium at a point when he mistakenly believed he was a hedgehog.  This work presents a fascinating view of the post-impressionist hedgehog art master.

 

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Every collection of hedgehog is better if there’s an Alphonse Mucha work involved.  Here we present a print entitled, “Hungry, Hungry Hedgehog.”

 

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Finally, we present “Drawing Hedgehogs,” a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in January 1948.  While there are copious words that could be expended on this work, we’re already well past the arbitrary 1000 word limit we set for blog posts, so we’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a proper description.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy these magnificent works as much as we do, and until next time, adieu.

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.

dsc_1206

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.

dsc_1214

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.

nightmare_hedgemas

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.

dsc_0813

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.

dsc_1252

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:

 

Bat-HogDelightfulBig HogsHaiku

Feel their powerful draw, can you resist?

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

hedgehog at tea

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.

delightfulshirt

“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.

hedgehog reading boingboing

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.

bedtime

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:
bathog

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:

edicate

notwhatyouthink

superhog

backstory

lipsticklaser

backstory2

mission

bank

polite1

polite2

hogrises (1)

 

sheldon

office

drInjustice

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.

princess for president

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.

DSC_0024

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.

DSC_0041 (1)

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.”

DSC_0613

 

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:

campaignposter

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.

posterII

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.

campaignposter3

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.

hillary copy

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.

cruz

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 1.00.24 AM

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:

sanders_reacts

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.

IVoted

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.

haiku11.jpg

 

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

Polite

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:

wsj

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.

Princess Pricklepants, Magnificent Mender of Monkey Manners


Dear reader, hopefully you were led here from this post’s immediate antecedent. Due to technical reasons far too risky to explain, we shall now only refer to that previous post as The Post That Must Not Be Named.  Still, there’s happy news – those previous complications, digressions, and Dark Arts can now be left behind (provided they are never discussed, explained, or named).

And so we begin with our first picture with words under it.

DSC_0935Princess Pricklepants was profoundly pleased.  After a complicated series of events and delays (which must not be discussed, explained, or named), she was finally able to fulfill her supreme destiny in teaching a monkey all the things a monkey should know – politeness, manners, and grace at a tea party (well, there was also dancing, singing, and proper diction, but those were a digression, and at this point Her Highness had become very suspicious of digressions). The tea was set out, there were some nice snacks, and she had her artful friend Artemisia as a model manners  assistant. There was even a fancy chair for the monkey. Things were going swimmingly.

Now all she had to do was teach the monkey.  She’d been so busy with email and avoiding meetings that she’d overlooked making a lesson plan. She decided to wing it as delightfully as possible.

“Now Monkey, um, let’s see.  To be polite, one should use the term ‘one’ instead of ‘you’, smile nicely (as I and Artemisia always do), and also… Hmm…”  She thought about having Monkey walk with a book balanced on the head to teach grace and poise, but that really didn’t seem like the right thing to do around cups of tea.  Enunciation lessons would be frustrating since Monkey didn’t speak English like a normal hedgehog, bear, or cow. At a loss, she decided to google something polite to do at tea parties.

DSC_0928Puzzlingly, when she looked up ‘Tea Party’ on google, the results were utterly bizarre and distressingly impolite.  Google was clearly confused, it seemed to be looking into some strange and rather grumpy alternate reality she was pleased to be no part of.

With no help from the internet, she bravely forged ahead. She began a lesson showing Monkey how to make a plate of treats with impeccable manners. Surely this would be a simple and foolproof lesson.

DSC_0947

She illustrated daintily placing a treat on a plate with grace and poise. Next came Monkey’s turn.

DSC_0948Unfortunately there was a mishap. But in every mishap, there’s an opportunity to be polite and helpful. “Oh dear, Monkey, are you okay? Let me help you back up.” She politely helped Monkey back to the seat. Monkey got back on the seat but at this point, things took a turn towards the complicated, as reality cruelly conspired against etiquette lessons.

DSC_0964Monkey sat upon the chair, but in a sense that was not so much “upon” as “upon, but in the entirely wrong way.” Monkey sat in a manner sadly lacking in refinement and sophistication. Princess politely looked away to give Monkey the chance to correct the posture problems.

In retrospect, looking aside was a poor choice. While looking anywhere but at the monkey, she noticed the wonderful beckoning dark space under the table. The beautiful, hypnotic, irresistible dark space. The allure was strong, so she decided to gracefully climb under the table.

DSC_0970She felt wonderfully sublime exploring this mysterious and fascinating new space, but the monkey posture problem remained. She had to think of a solution. She thought, and realized the solution. It was incredibly simple and elegant. “Monkey, perhaps you’d like to look under the table? It’s so lovely to crawl around there, and it’s so polite and refined,” she helpfully suggested.

DSC_0977It a was a perfect solution. The posture problems were in the past. There was a slight down side, though. The monkey’s trip under the table left Artemisia inexplicably distressed. Princess Pricklepants felt great concern. She tried to comfort her artful model friend.

DSC_0991Some aspects of this may have comforted her friend (though the quill stabbing aspect was much too uncomfortable to be very comforting), but it had an unfortunate complicating effect. Monkey noticed that comforting Artemisia looked incredibly fun and decided to try it too.

DSC_0983 (7)

Unfortunately, despite the monkey’s best efforts at being comforting, the end result was somehow not comforting at all, but distressing.

At this point Artemisia needed additional comforting due to these attempts at comforting. Princess politely jumped in great enthusiasm to offer aid and comfort. The outcome was truly memorable, which is the hallmark of a good party, so it worked out really well.

DSC_0995

There was one tiny issue. She may have jumped in a little too enthusiastically, since bits of party ended up strewn across the floor. Still, there was a happy side, since some cookies had fallen to the floor. With the floor cookies she could both practice and illustrate her manners at not eating off the ground (challenge level: extreme), and there was added bonus – she could say “excuse me” for the minor faux pas.

While the incident had many wonderfully polite and delightful aspects for Her Highness, there was one very, very unfortunate side effect. In clambering across the table, she spotted something with an allure even greater than the magnificent sub-table space. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted the wonderful, enticing, tantalizing Gap Under The Sofa (so delightful it had to be capitalized). An irresistible space with an allure so tempting that there was only one possible polite pursuit.

DSC_0997

Clambering under the couch was so fantastically, irresistibly polite that Monkey, as a new student of politeness, joined in happily. This pleased Her Highness to no end. These manners lessons were going so well!

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With Her Highness sniffing under the sofa in the most refined and delightful way she could manage, and with Monkey following suit, her heart swelled. Her charge in charm training was clearly getting the knack of politeness, grace, and delightful things! Monkey Manners Mission Accomplished!

And with that happy ending, she was as delighted as could be. Clearly Monkey had seen that manners are fun and would now behave like a proper monkey. With a bit of work at balancing books on heads, a bit of refinement of diction, and perhaps some ballroom dancing lessons, things would be peachy. Now she just had to get those chickens in shape.

Coming soon in our next episode:  Will the monkey manners be maintained?  Will the chickens learn civility? What happened to the skunk?  Will the story shift in some other unrelated direction pretending none of this ever happened?  Will the author lighten up on the adjective extravagance? Will the crocodiles (or is it alligators?) return? These and other questions may or may not be answered in Princess Pricklepants and the Chicken Charm School (working title – subject to change).

 

The Curse of the Controlling Cow


(previously)

Greetings dear readers, it is I, Boris Excelsior blogging once more. By now you’re all too familiar with the strange creatures with whom I dwell. Somehow they suffer an ontological blindness to reality (save the chickens, they see all). They are like people chained to the walls of a cave seeing only shadows on the cave walls. This leaves them in an odd state (though perhaps their ignorance is a blessing). I know too well the nature of our cruel authorial overlord whose completely derivative tropes, shallow whims, avoidance of metaphors, tortured prose, literary floundering, poverty of figurative language, and annoying tendency towards alliteration leave me in endless despair (and don’t get me started on the photos which strangely focus on hedgehogs over bears). Lastly, as the protagonist, you’d think I’d be more central to things, but sometimes the foolish author forgets me altogether(!), more evidence of my point.  Back to the others, they see only their world of appearances rather than reality, where their random wanderings from some improbable situation and lingering threads of plots are invisible.

Original_Owl

I feel like I am Owl from Winnie the Pooh, seeing all, knowing all, a fount of erudition, and another protagonist who strangely isn’t present as much as might be expected. I envy the others in some ways, free from seeing the literary crime that is my universe. Yet, their ignorance seems to be at the root of their lingering character defects (especially the cows). Take Jane, the unbearable. This bear bears umbrage at her bare cruelty. Perhaps her controlling passive-aggressive ways are a product of a complete lack of free will, dictated upon her by authorial cruelty, but I believe it to be deliberate choice. Those little notes complaining about the missing donuts, the way she hides pie, the subtly harsh way she sips coffee, it must be an indicator of some kind of vicious consciousness, no matter how dim.

And then there’s that hedgehog. She’s sweet, and while perhaps sophisticated in manners, that sophistication ends with her intellect. Perhaps free will is inapplicable and she’s driven by instinctive etiquette. When she opens her mouth it’s probably innate to endlessly endorse etiquette while abusing alliteration. And that alliteration! Always an abominably awful attack against articulation. Cringe-worthily contrived composition.

That’s all for now, more musings soon. Much to say about that accursed monkey and I have some thought to share on deconstructionism – the concept of the death of the author is fascinating. Off to the book club with the chickens, we’re reading Dostoevsky.

pooh_back

Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery of Monkey Manners


(previously)

Dear reader,

Please be advised that the following story contains graphic self-referentiality. Younger readers and those sensitive to chronic self-reference exposure might experience dizziness, confusion, and mild irritation when reading this post. Precautionary meta-measures should be taken, though were we to mention them, this in itself could trigger acute self-referentialititis in those afflicted.

Since this is a longer post somewhat past the bounds of prudence and justice in hedgehog-blog related literature, we’ll keep this preamble brief except for this one item of note: Someone came to this blog from a search for “how can make the models of cow & duck from waste materials.” We feel like someone who suddenly found a mysterious doorway in their home that they’d never noticed before. This opens new dimensions.

And now, our first picture with words under it.

PP and Boris“Good morning, Boris.”

“Good morning, Your Highness. I notice that we’re in a standard two character intro.  Lovely!  Things are looking nicely normal for the literary form. I assume we’ll be briefly describing an important detail of the plot’s conflict to the audience mixed with a bit of light banter to set the mood?”

“Not sure what you mean about standard intros, but I was just having some tea and sitting here working out my plan for Monkey.”

“Ah, yes, Monkey. Have you read my latest blog post on Monkey?”

“You have a blog?”

“How could you not know this?  I email links to it every time I post something… It’s a handy way for me to explain my displeasure at certain cows and other figures in a delightfully indirect way. I just skip sending links to the annoying… Uh… So, yes, eh, I have a boring blog.  You shouldn’t read it. Very dull.”

“Ah.”

“So, the monkey business?”

“Yes, I have a perfectly pleasant plan to promote politeness and philanthropy in our primate pal.”

“Interestingly, I wrote on my blog about alliteration recently…  Anyway, you’re going to send Monkey to a zoo?”

“No. I’ve realized the error of my ways. The key is the tea. That’s what I always say now. So we’ll have a lovely and tasteful tea party. Monkey will be pleased, delighted, and educated.”

“Do those three words usually go together?”

“Yes. Now you too are pleased, delighted, and educated.”

“You know, I suddenly have a new blog post to work on. Good day.”

PP and Jane

Jane entered in a way no adjectives could properly describe, so no description was offered. “So, the meeting. You ready? I’ve got a few new items. I found an amazing way to make models of ducks and cows from scrap paper! Oh, also it turns out the bear has a blog where he talks about us and how we’ve annoyed him. One of the chickens forwarded me a link.”

“Oh, maybe we could not have the meeting today? I have plans. Tea party plans with the monkey. It will be luminous.”

“So you’re really skipping an important meeting where you can contribute valuable time and resources to go have a tea party with a monkey?”

“It’s to teach Monkey manners.”

“I thought we were going to get that monkey a job. We’ll be going over this in the meeting we all really should be attending.”

“Would you mind holding on just a moment? I need to send a quick email.”

Checking Email

To: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
From: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: A Missive on Manners in Meetings

I have some incredibly important business to attend to teaching a monkey proper primate etiquette, but to do so would require skipping a meeting. Is it polite to skip meetings if it’s for the purpose of furthering a great and noble cause?
-PP

To: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
From: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: Re: A Missive on Manners in Meetings

Dear Somewhat Impolite Nickname,
Pursuing the promotion of proper politeness is a perennially perfect and proper plan. Perhaps you could try telling the meeting organizer you’re busy and see if they can reschedule.
-Princess Pricklepants

To: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
From: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: Re: A Missive on Manners in Meetings

What if they don’t agree?
-PP

To: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
From: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: Re: A Missive on Manners in Meetings

Dear Still Inexplicably Using That Somewhat Impolite Nickname,
Mention that they skipped the meeting yesterday. Note that there’s clearly some flexibility in scheduling.
-Princess Pricklepants

To: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
From: theprincess@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: Re: A Missive on Manners in Meetings

Oh, that’s a great idea. But how did you know about the rescheduling? Oh, wait, you must read my blog…
-Princess Pricklepants

“Say, Jane, could we reschedule the meeting?”

“I really want to have a word with everyone about that bear and his blog.  He said I was a passive-aggresive control-freak!  You should hear what he said about alliteration!”

“Couldn’t you just talk to him?”

“That’s a kooky idea. We’ll talk about it in the meeting.”

“Remember how you rescheduled the meeting yesterday?”

“Yes, it’s been so long since we’ve had a meeting. I really miss our meetings.”

“Perhaps you could write a note about impolite blogging for the bear and leave it on the refrigerator? Then we could discuss leaving notes in the meeting tomorrow.”

“Fine. I’ll leave a note for the bear. I guess. But someone else might be seeing her own note about meeting rescheduling… And in the next meeting we’ll be discussing the importance of attendance.”

Dear reader,

An astute reader might have noticed that we’re already remarkably far into this story with a withering sea of dialog, but no tea parties, few photos, and barely any story per se. Yet adorable photos of hedgehogs participating in tea parties with monkeys are really the main purpose of this blog post. “Why?” You are probably asking, “Why no hedgehog monkey tea parties? Why all this dialog and email business? Why this rambling authorial intrusion?” The answer is perplexing to us all, I’m afraid, even to the narrator. Sorry. We’ve really been trying to make things go that way, but instead here we are not presenting you with hedgehog-monkey-tea, and are even talking about not doing that very thing, adding to the sense that this digression is as distressing as it is inexplicable, like a metaphor without a comparison. Apologies. We really ought to do something about that.

-Author

To: sirsandwich@princesspricklepants.com 
From: excelsior@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: A Dramatic Failure

Dear Author,
I know you don’t read my blog. I check. You really should. You’re a terrible writer tormenting me with an endless litany of literary failures, non-existent dramatic structure, meandering prose, and peculiar diction. I have so much advice for you. Please subscribe to my blog. Regarding your current meandering malaise of muddled mystification, hideous whimsy, mutilated story progression, and crimes against literature I also have some advice. Instead of reading your email you might want to just write the story. Or at least plug some pictures in with our charming bear protagonist offering helpful advice and commentary to his hapless animal friends.
-Boris Maximus
“Excelsior!”

To: excelsior@princesspricklepants.com 
From: sirsandwich@princesspricklepants.com 
Subject: Re: A Dramatic Failure

Dear Bear,
Thanks so much for contacting us with your criticism. Negative feedback can be a valuable part of the development of a creative work, but sadly, we are busy writing a lovely story about a hedgehog having a tea party with a monkey and currently cannot accept your criticism. We also regret to inform you that we have no plans to process criticism anytime in the near or distant future, including complaints about not accepting criticism, complaints about spending time writing email about not accepting criticism when we should be writing other things, criticisms of literary structure, complaints about typos or or speling errors in response emails, or any other from of complaint, critique, denunciation, etc. For further details, please see:
http://the-toast.net/2014/09/19/no-criticism-thanks/
If you’re concerned about us effectively recycling someone else’s material, that too is a form of criticism which again falls under the category of things we are currently not accepting.
Kindest Regards,
Sir Sandwich
P.S. Please feel free to review this email whenever the thought of contacting us with criticism arises.

Soon another email arrived, but the Author had stopped checking email, since he was busy reading some articles found after googling procrastination, thinking about whether there actually was some way to construct a metaphor without a comparison (since that would be really cool), and trying to think of a way to work the phrase “bear umbrage” into the story somehow.

Things got complicated, and it didn’t seem like there was any hope the story could progress. How could a denouement be reached? With far more than a thousand words already spilled in a format with an arbitrarily self-imposed thousand word limit, a story that was in revolt against its own plot, and levels of self-reference that seemed like they’d suck everything into a swirling vortex of recursion the impasse seemed intractable.  Fortunately Her Highness had an idea.

“Perhaps you could just call this complete, then start a new story. In the new one, we just need to find the monkey, set up a nice tea service with a few treats, some tasteful decorations, and an environment full of sweetness and light. With that, things will naturally unfold just as they should, and all will be well in the world.”

So, it is your Destiny that you must click here to continue to Princess Pricklepants, Magnificent Mender of Monkey Manners (we were going to title it, “Princess Pricklepants and the Quest for Monkey Manners – A New Beginning,” but certain editors protested) in which there are many photos, monkey manners may be modified, and tea is served.