Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula
issue no. 7
Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula
issue no. 7
Princess Pricklepants Presents Hedgehogs in Space – Issue 6
Today we presented our third comic, which unlike “It’s The Great Pumpkin Princess Pricklepants” will be the first of a hopefully long running series. In case you missed it, here it is:
While we’ll be doing a few other things for a while after this, we will definitely be periodically returning to the Labs. Science, the future, inventions, experiments there’s a lot to show and tell you about.
You won’t recognize this from the comic since this was a pane we developed but skipped. Crosshatched black and white ink drawings produce such lovely art, but clashed with the rest of the styles enough that we didn’t use it. Crosshatched black and white ink drawings are on the way once we meet Count Hogula.
Take a nice long look. Glorious, isn’t it!? So much science! So much art! If you don’t think it’s glorious, take another nice long look a the hypno-disc…
keep looking at the hypno-disk…
the nice round hyno-disc…*
* Note that according to traditional hedgehog orthography this term is spelled hypno-disk, with a K, but due to scribal errors, it’s been spelled hypno-disc, with a C, often enough that both spellings are considered correct.
At some point you’ll really admire this schematic. Maybe even yesterday! Waka waka.* This comic combines science, line art, and the Little Mermaid in a way heretofore unseen in the universe. We hope this artistic experience is as fulfilling for you, dear reader, as it is for this humble hedgehog webcomic artist. Click here to make it even more fulfilling with the single best hedgehog time machine schematic tee shirt the world has yet seen.
*Pricklepants Labs is an imperfect homage to Muppet Labs.
Getting to draw two flying cars is an automatically good thing. Except for the part where if you imagine what it would be like if humans had them and rain civilization destroying death on everything it’s less good. So don’t imagine that. Instead consider that we got to return to something like the ligne claire art style we like so much. It’s designed to have great clarity since it was designed for children’s book illustrations. There are clear border lines around every distinct form, shading that’s lower contrast but still uses distinction in bordering hues to define separation, etc. But you can still compose comic art in the style that is interesting as an illustration for adults. By contract we’re required to regularly write on art related topics like ligne claire, since this is an artful web comic, as is stated at the top of each comic. Also we really liked how the trees came out.
Who couldn’t be pleased with a nice, safe, responsible scientific experiment? We were trying to express growth movement here mostly with color and motion lines. There’s no background setting to force a perspective, which makes things more abstract, and lets the viewer fill in the perspective on the gamma-ray-o-tron. We really like putting little arrows pointing at things with text.
In this final illustration, the background is less busy to help focus on the hypnosis-disc which you should again look at carefully. Very carefully. You will eagerly wait with bated breath next week’s issue of Princess Pricklepants Presents.
While we’re still learning to draw, we think this one came out reasonably well overall. We managed to include a bit of foreshadowing in this comic, so tune in next week to see what that’s about. In the overall comic, we only used three types of stylization for quills, which is perhaps less ambitious than the debut issue, but it seems nicely balanced. Since we’ve calculated that pi equals three, it’s a nice round number.
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 3
Princess Pricklepants Presents Pricklepants Labs
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 2
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The apple’s brush strokes, the subtle two-dimensional cubist geometric clouds, the hat’s shading… It is a tiny happy thing.
Michelangelo in comic form. I bet if he’d thought of it, he’d have done it this way.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Just look at it! Magnificent gloriousness.
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.
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!
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.
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!”
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.
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.
Her Highness decided to develop a theory of astrophysics that explained dark matter more satisfactorily than current models. That seemed big in every sense.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Also, here are a couple of the hats.
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!”
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.
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.
“Princess, time to get to practicing.”
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.
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?”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
It seemed to work pretty well. Very hard to notice.
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.
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.
She was inspired to check in the corner where the somewhat objectionable lamp was.
She then decided to check under the music stand, in case there was any inspiration there. She didn’t find any.
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.
Unfortunately, the cow tipping was noticed, and Bessie, the tipped cow, fully blocked any possible exit, leaving her forced to face the flute.
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.
It’s here! Our new book is now up on the Createspace site and you can order it:
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:
For those across the pond, it’s available here:
If you’re looking for Hedgehog Art Through The Ages Shirts, they can be found here:
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.
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.
The staying on the head part really never quite worked out, and Her Highness really wasn’t so sure about grace and poise.
Worse, there were tables to crawl under with great grace and poise, but apparently this was poor etiquette according to some picky manners instructors.
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.
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.
The living room’s IKEA table was too small.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After all, there was tea and cookies.
Today we present an amazing collection of virtually believable hedgehog facts for your wonder, delight, and edification:
You can even get the shirt here.
If you enjoy these, you might enjoy our amazing merchandise available here:
Hello again dear readers,
While there hasn’t been nearly a long enough delay, here we are with another post. Like many others, it’s going in a slightly different direction. If there are three phrases that describe us, they are “somewhat inconsistent,” and “not great at counting.”
A reader, Quentin, wrote in to mention that they did not believe the art works we had been posting recently were real art. We can only say that art is the thing artists make, and we aren’t in any position to judge besides that since we’re not artists.
No readers wrote in to ask about their homework though many visited searching for answers to Princess Penelope’s Figurative Language homework, which we hope we were able to help with in our small way.
One person also arrived here searching for “can a hedgehog die by being too loud,” to which the answer is that hedgehogs do not like loud noises at all, it would cause them chronic stress, and they definitely shouldn’t be kept in loud environments. Even if they don’t die, it’s cruel to expose them to loud noises. Don’t do that.
We’ve promised to move on from Hedgehog Art Through History series, as it was time for a proper story, so that’s what we’ll do. Pretty soon. Since we aren’t going to do a post on art, we wanted to share this remarkable illustration of a squirrel drinking coffee from a crazy straw from a rejected Alice in Wonderland story to make sure we’re not foolishly consistent. This also give us the opportunity to subtly plug the new shirt with this design. Sorry.And so, as we always try to do, we begin our story with a picture with words under it.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, around last Friday, Princess Pricklepants was taking a lovely stroll in the garden. Through a bit of digging, a few extra left turns, and perhaps not quite the right number of right turns, she wound up in a very unfamiliar place. The colors were so very wrong that they weren’t even there, and everything smelled strangely, almost like paper. She decided to pause, close her eyes and take in a nice deep sniff to see if she could smell the right direction to go. In mid-sniff she heard a small squeaky voice.
“What is it Pooh?”
“Oh, I think it’s a Pricklebump.”
Her Highness was not a Pricklebump, but for the time being chose to let it pass as there were greater concerns, “Oh, hello, I’m afraid I’ve become so very lost I can’t even find my name to properly introduce myself. So very sorry.”
“Well, hello whoever you are, I’m Piglet,” said Piglet.
“And I’m Pooh,” said Pooh bear, “Could we help you find your way?”
“I’d really be grateful, though there’s something else I’m missing I’m more worried about, but I’m not exactly sure what it is.”
Piglet was very worried, “Oh no!”
“Don’t worry,” said Pooh, “We can take you to Owl. If anyone knows anything about something, it’s Owl who knows something or other. Or maybe the other way.”
Piglet seemed slightly relieved, though not very much so. “I s-s-suppose it’s not s-s-so bad, then. An adventure with Pooh and the Primpole will have t-t-to t-t-turn out. I g-g-guess, unless there are W-W0ozles.”
He Highness decided the polite thing to do would be to just let the piglet with an anxiety disorder use an incorrect name since she didn’t have a proper name to offer. These monochrome animals certainly did have a lot of odd pronunciations, and very strange habits with capitalization as well.
Her Highness wasn’t fully sure about the plan. “So, this Owl, does it eat rodents? What about hedgehogs?”
Pooh giggled, “Oh no, Owl doesn’t eat.”
Her Highness was relieved, so they set on their way. As they walked Pooh hummed a tuneless little melody which turned into a song about bees and honey and things.
Her Highness decided to make an attempt at conversation. “You know, you’re a very unusual bear.” Her Highness was used to bears with Canadian accents who didn’t hum and sing about bees.
“Well, you’re rather unlike any, um, Prickly Animals I’ve met either. Delighted to meet you.”
“Delighted to meet you too.”
They arrived at Owl’s home in a lovely old tree which was drawn really nicely.
Pooh said, “Now all you have to do is walk to the door and ring the bell, since a knock means you’re there to eat honey. Or maybe it’s the other way. I never remember. Still, maybe you should knock, I could use a little Smackerel of something.”
Her Highness wasn’t fully comfortable with this arrangement, but happily it didn’t matter, as Owl was already outside, hopefully not in the mood for eating any hedgehogs.
“Why it’s a Periwinkle,” exclaimed Owl, with his huge deadly talons gripping the branch.
Her Highness was working diligently not to lose patience with these creatures and their habit of calling everything the wrong name with strange capitalization, but knew better than to offer a correction to a rodent and hedgehog eating predator, as this wouldn’t be polite.
“Why hello Owl, it’s very lovely to meet you. I’m afraid I’ve become very lost, so lost I can’t find my name. I met a bear named Ooh who suggested you might be able to help.”
“I’ve never met a bear named ‘Ooh.’ Very strange. Well, this thing you’ve lost, can you describe it?”
“It’s, well, you see, it’s difficult to describe.”
“Well, when you lose something, the customary procedure is to go back to the first place you saw it, then go to every other place you’ve ever seen it and eventually it’ll be in one of those places.”
This was helpful advice in a sense of trying to help, but also unhelpful in the sense of not being practical for someone who’s lost, or even for someone who wasn’t lost.
“Well thank you, I’ll toddle off and see about going to many places. Oh, also, the bear wanted honey.”
“Oh, I’m afraid I’m all out due to a recent bear visit. You’ll need to try a bee hive to find honey, maybe you could use a balloon to get some?”
“I’ve always had very bad experiences with balloons I’m afraid, but thank you. Very lovely visiting you, good bye.” She hurriedly made her way from the large-taloned raptor.
As she scurried politely, she remember back to her last balloon adventure. It had all started off so nicely, with a lovely balloon and no bees at all.
Then several seconds later there was a terrible sound, just the kind of loud sound she liked least in the world, really, and after the sound her former balloon wasn’t very lovely any more. No, there would be no balloons.
When she got back to Pooh and Piglet she carefully forgot to mention the balloon, bee, honey idea, but related the rest of the advice which they chose to ignore. Not being sure what to do, they decided to walk about to see if the right idea might visit, though all the ideas that came to visit were never quite right.
As they walked, they eventually came upon a morose donkey despondently looking at its feet.
“Good afternoon, Eeyore” said Pooh.
“Oh, Good afternoon, Pooh, Piglet, hedgehog,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good afternoon,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he. “It’s probably going to rain.”
“We seem to have a very confuddling problem, you see, this Pricklebump has lost a Thing, but she’s not sure what it is.”
“Oh, well. Probably will never find it. All the same, it’s better to lose Something and not know what it is, than to know what it is. Then you can forget it, and go somewhere else to be Alone and Forgotten sitting in the Rain. Like me.”
“You’re not alone, dear Eeyore, since we’re actually here, silly. Also it’s not raining.” said Her Highness, who was still quietly losing her mind at their capitalization habits.
“Oh, well it might not be Raining now, but one day it will. This Thing you’re looking for, what does it look like?”
“Oh, if I could draw it, I’d remember it for sure. I went with Ooh Bear to see Owl, but they didn’t exactly help, and I’m quite erplexed, and at a loss for what to do.”
“Hmm,” said Eeyore.
“Does it perhaps look like the letter you keep forgetting to use?” Eeyore made a P on the ground with some sticks.
“That’s it,” exclaimed Princess, “You’ve found it! You’re positively perfect!”
With the letter P found, Princess Pricklepants was at last able to mention her name, which was a relief, as the pressure of being powerless to proffer polite greetings was perturbing. Pooh led the way to Christopher Robin who it turned out followed her on Twitter (Facebook being for old people), and so was able to help her find her way home, and all was well in the world again, wrapped up remarkably quickly since there was a 1,000 word limit which we actually passed a surprisingly long time ago.
So we must say, “The End” for a post that was mostly an excuse to show off some line drawings we’ve been working on as a trick to continue with Hedgehog Art Through History even when we weren’t supposed to.
Stay tuned for our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery of Monkey Voters (working title)
Apologies for the infrequent updates, Her Highness’ schedule has been busy with the duties of running for president and engaging in extensive art research while maintaining a fourteen hour sleep schedule (and responding to queries regarding etiquette advice).
While this post is about art, we did want to share this glorious vision of the future:
And, while we’re on the topic of the Princess Pricklepants’ Prickle Party run for President, for those who might have missed it, we wanted to mention that Her Highness’s Patronus is a hedgehog, which has made for a powerful campaign poster.
And so this time we begin or post with our third picture with words under it.
So far as recent hedgehog art discoveries go, this is historic. In early 2016, hedgehog art researchers at the Louvre applied laboratory analysis of reflective light and color analysis to the Mona Lisa and made a truly remarkable discovery based on a recently discovered notebook by Da Vinci. The notebook referred to the work as “La Gioconda con Riccio” (happiness with hedgehog), while underpainting analysis now confirms the original work is actually a masterwork of hedgehog art. These are exciting times for hedgehog art critics and historians. We now know what the Original Mona Lisa looks like.
Here we have another fascinating and historic work, Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises and Also a Hedgehog.” An immediately striking painting created in the last year before his death in 1890, he considered this painting the study on which the later more famous hedgehog-less Iris painting was based on, though it stands alone as a sublime and magnificent work of post-Impressionist hedgehog art.
Rembrandt’s first version of Belshazzar’s Feast was an enigma to hedgehog art historians for decades until it was discovered that Rembrandt had initially read a faulty Dutch translation of the book of Daniel that had translated the word “Writing” as “Hedgehog.” This work is housed in the National Hedgehog Gallery, London.
Now as a first, here’s a second work from the same artist. Forgotten for centuries, Rembrandt’s 1661 Portrait of a Lady With a Hedgehog is a high point in Baroque Hedgehog Art. While not as well known as his Belshazzar’s Feast With Hedgehog, this late work of Rembrandt’s, which highlights his masterful use of light, composition, and hedgehogs. The work was only discovered post-WW II, having been lost in the basement of the Rijksmuseum.
Maxfield Parrish’s 1921 “Hedgehog Break” is regarded as one of the most popular hedgehog art prints of the 20th century. Parrish later produced the human-centric “Daybreak,” which went on to even greater fame, though he always considered this work’s composition and symbolism as more powerful.
While less well known, hedgehog art historians have been spending more time researching this 1648 portrait by Renato d’Angio of Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine (mother of Margaret of Anjou). Isabella is holding the traditional panier d’ hérisson (hedgehog basket), a symbol of the mythology behind the family’s regal hedgehog lineage.
Alma-Tadema’s 1884 A Reading from Homer to a Hedgehog is a lovely late Victorian painting. Through attention to details such as architecture and dress, Alma-Tadema’s work imaginatively re-created everyday life for hedgehogs in ancient times.
Next we present Alphons Mucha’s delightful “P. Pricklepants.” The work is a masterful Art Nouveau print from 1897. Little is known about its origin, though the work appears to have been a 1897 commission by Marchioness Pricklepants of Paris. It’s quite lovely, really, so wonderful there’s not much to say. Just look at it!
Her Highness was somewhat taken by Mucha’s work, so here is Alphonse Mucha’s, “Hedgehog Princess Perusing Art,” c. 1890. This is a truly lovely later work by Mucha, who clearly had a fondness for hedgehogs. Unfortunately, little is known about this work, though the greater subtlety and simpler composition than “P. Pricklepants” suggest this work was inspired by different themes.
Finally, we present Jacques-Louis David’s 1786 “The Discomfort of Socrates,” which details the event of the initial cup of hedgehog handed to Socrates, because the jailer misheard “hemlock.” David’s masterful rendering of the cup being handed over is a truly powerfully captured expression of awkwardness. Created by David for Napoleon’s palace, the painting was poorly received, and has been much less popular than the later version.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the remarkable world of hedgehog art. We’re planning to post on other topics in the future, but may discover other works which you can keep up on via Facebook or Twitter (we’re not great about our Instagram account, sorry).
Stay tuned for our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Never Ending Story of Hedgehog Art
Finally, in an awkward act of gross commercialism, we also suggest you take a look at our fabulous, tasteful, and sophisticated merchandise that will make the wearer seem even more to smart, attractive, and interesting than they already are. Look, aren’t they cool?
These and more available here.
Also, there are notecards and things here.
Sadly, or perhaps happily, we haven’t offered much coverage of Small Furry Animal Campaign 2016, something we’ll work to rectify in some future post if we don’t get distracted by arguing with squirrels on Twitter, reading wikipedia (did you know about Moon Trees?), or researching hedgehog art through the ages. But lately we’ve mostly been arguing with squirrels and researching hedgehog art through the ages.
Despite efforts to build bridges and create a Small Furry Animals coalition, radical squirrel partisans have created strife that’s even extended to some humans.
Once again, there will be no story in this post per se other than the magnificent story of hedgehog art, a story that needs telling, and which goes on and on, perhaps endlessly, like a run-on sentence of art.
Let us begin with our first picture with words under it.
Whistler’s Hedgie Mother (formally titled Arrangement of Pets in Grey and Black No.1) was painted in 1869. Whistler eventually managed to convince his mother to stop posing for portraits with her pets in 1871. While both the pet-free and petful works are held by the Musée d’Orsay, the hedgehog version has not been exhibited yet.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady With a Hedgehog (c.1488-1489) is a true high point of Renaissance hedgehog art, masterfully executed. The human subject is not known with certainty, though the hedgehog is strongly believed by experts to be Contessa Mirandella di Pricklipanzia, a distant relation of Princess Penelope Pricklepants via the Venetian line of the family. While the hedgehog is an actual noble-hog, as a hedgehog she also serves as a symbol of elegance, grace, and excellent manners.
The enigmatic and sublime beauty of Raphael’s early work, Portrait of a Lady with a Hedgiecorn, has been a subject hedgehog art critics have discussed for centuries. The influence of Da Vinci on Raphael’s work is clearly seen here in the similarities to the Mona Lisa in pose, gaze, and format of this painting. Da Vinci’s influence can also be seen in the use of a hedgehog, following Da Vinci’s Lady with Hedgehog, and again symbolizing elegance, grace, and impeccable manners. A true Renaissance hedgehog art masterwork.
Caravaggio’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit and Some Hedgehogs, c.1593, is a stunning work, the light, expressiveness, and technical execution are all superb, and illustrate the transition from the more constrained and austere styles of the Renaissance into the more dynamic, dramatic styles of the Baroque, as we can see by the pair of hedgehogs striking dramatic poses and the powerful lighting on the quills. Strangely, this work was not well accepted by the public. The culture of Renaissance Italy held unusual cultural superstitions regarding the idea of hedgehogs crawling in their food as “unclean.” Caravaggio ultimately reworked the painting without hedgehogs (weakening the dynamics and drama the hedgehogs bring to the work). The hedgehog painting was forgotten until it was recently rediscovered when a shopper bought the painting at a Goodwill in West Covina.
Donatello’s first version of this statue created for the Vatican was titled, St. Mark With Hedgehog and was commissioned for St. Peter’s Basilica. Sadly, Pope Leo X was not amused, and Donatello was forced to create another statue, this time without the hedgehog. One little known fact about this work is that Martin Luther was finally motivated to write his 95 theses because of Leo X’s unwillingness to embrace hedgehog art (according to Uncle Pricklepants).
This work marks a true high point in our excursion through hedgehog art, as we’ve now shown hedgehog artworks by Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello, which completes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sequence, and unlocks the next level.
Hogs Playing Poker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (yes, that really is his name) has generally been looked down upon by art critics who accuse the work of being faddish, kitschy, lowbrow culture, and a poor-taste parody of “genuine” art, which is why modern art critics are not worth listening to. Several critics who aren’t jerks have noted that this work was very significant in helping bring hedgehog art into the modern mainstream in America, and point out Coolidge careful studied and used motifs, styles, and composition from Caravaggio, Cezanne, and other greats of hedgehog art.
Once discovered, Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Hog (c. 1817) quickly became an iconic hedgehog work from the Romantic period. The self-reflective pose, and invitation to see things from the hedgehog’s perspective make this an incredibly powerful work which has been featured on the covers of hedgehog books, hedgehog album covers, and has become part of modern hedgehog culture.
Finally, we turn to Warhol’s Four Hedgehogs (1962). This work was accidentally left in the basement of the Tate until recently and was initially assumed to be some kind of parody of Warhol, while now art critics debate whether it’s parody, self-parody, meta-ironic parodying of self-parody, or the other kinds of things art critics argue about. As with all Warhol works, it’s very hard to explain.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this continued overview of high points of hedgehog art and hope you may have learned something as well. There are yet more works that we will likely share on Facebook and Twitter over time, and it’s likely our gift shop will be ultimately be carrying related merchandise over time, if you are a hedgehog art aficionado, keep an eye out.
Stay tuned for our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery of Monkey Voters (working title)
Since Her Highness has taken an interest in education, we’ve found a number of works of Hedgehog Art through the ages to share to aid the much neglected field of Hedgehog art education. There is no story in this post per se, other than the magnificent story of hedgehog art, a story well worth telling.
We begin with this less well known Botticelli work, Birth of a Hedgehog. A beautiful and sublime work of art, and a true milestone in Renaissance Hedgehog art:
Next we have another Renaissance hedgehog art history milestone by Michelangelo. Sadly, the Vatican rejected Michelangelo’s first hedgehog-based design for the Sistine Chapel:
Grant Wood’s American Hegehog Gothic is less well known than his more popular painting, but this remarkable piece is truly iconic in hedgehog art and culture:
Leutze’s Hedgehog Crossing the Delaware is a high point of 1850s art – stirring imagery, truly remarkable artistic composition:
When Hedgehog With a Pearl Earring went to auction in 1947, it was widely considered by experts as a forgery of Vermeer done by the notorious Van Meegeren. Thanks to painstaking research by Princess Pricklepants, the provenance of this piece has been authoritatively traced back to Vermeer, and it’s now a favorite piece in Her Highness’ collection. A true Dutch master-work:
Magritte’s Le Fils de l’Herrison is difficult to explain, but here it is:
Edward Hopper’s Nighthogs was recently discovered in museum archives of the Art Institute of Chicago among works willed by Hopper to the museum that were lost in storage vaults. It’s very exciting to see this remarkable discovery come to light.
Norman Rockwell’s love of hedgehogs is not well known. He made this painting as a cover for the Saturday Evening Post in 1958. At the time, featuring an African on the cover in the diner was a brave move by Mr. Rockwell, but unfortunately the theme was too controversial and was ultimately not accepted until it was reworked.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of various high points of hedgehog art and hope you may have learned something as well. There are many other works that we will likely share on Facebook and Twitter over time, and you can find awesome shirts here:
Now there is a book available here: https://www.createspace.com/6456156
and also available on amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Hedgehog-Through-Ages-Steven-Bach/dp/1539641880/
Stay tuned for our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery of Monkey Voters (working title)
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:
Feel their powerful draw, can you resist?
With that complete, we begin our story with a picture with words under it.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
She was really not looking forward to the New York and California primaries…
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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?”
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?”
“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.”
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:
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?”
“Oh… Are you sure?”
“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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
Fancy pulled some strings and managed to arrange a brief intro. between Princess and Donald Trump.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Since they like making campaign art much more than talking to humans or campaigning, they worked on a delightful campaign poster.
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:
And shortly after that manifest destiny would be realized:
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.
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.
Princess 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.
Puzzlingly, 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.
She illustrated daintily placing a treat on a plate with grace and poise. Next came Monkey’s turn.
Unfortunately 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.
Monkey 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.
She 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.
It 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.
Some 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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.”
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: A Missive on Manners in Meetings
What if they don’t agree?
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Oh, that’s a great idea. But how did you know about the rescheduling? Oh, wait, you must read my blog…
“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.”
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.
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: A Dramatic Failure
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.
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: A Dramatic Failure
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:
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.
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.