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.

Princess Pricklepants, Disliker of Manners


Dear reader,

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

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

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

*We also being our sentences with conjunctions.

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

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

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

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

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

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Sometimes hats were even worse.

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

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The living room’s IKEA table was too small.

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The kitchen’s IKEA table was also too small.

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

And so, Princess Pricklepants decided to be a squirrel.

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

And so Princess Pricklepants decided to be a Viking.

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

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

And so Princess Pricklepants decided to be a pirate.

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

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

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

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

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

And so she decided to be a clothing model.

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

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

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

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

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After all, there was tea and cookies.

 

The New Princess


We’ve adopted a new Princes.  Princess (Name To Be Determined) Pricklepants.  The Council hasn’t come to a decision on a final name.  Some candidates are:

Perdita

Pepita

Petunia

Poopopotomus

Persephone

Primrose

Prudence

Her Highness is eating and drinking in her new home, and enjoyed anointing the hand servants with the two offerings.

As a result, she’s already had her first bath:

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The princess also been given her first lesson:

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“Wait, you want me to do what!?”

 

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No!  No!  No no no!

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“Hold on, I’m busy checking email.”

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“Heh, nobody will ever find me here.”

Her place upon the throne has been secured.  More updates to come.

Hedgehog Facts


Today we present an amazing collection of virtually believable hedgehog facts for your wonder, delight, and edification:

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The truest fact of all.

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They also hedge their bets

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100% gnarly fact

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Fun fact: Hedgehogs stand for Liberty, Justice, and Equality.

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Surprising, but true.

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Sadly, Walt had to remove the hedgehogs he originally put in his films due to complicated licensing issues.

 

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“Looking sharp”

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…and sometimes afterwards…

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However, hedgehog programmers are quite talented.

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Bonus fact: If you divide a hedgehog fact by zero, you get three wishes.

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This is more advice than a fact, really.

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Hedgehogs whose name starts with the letter ‘P’ get an additional 3% bonus multiplier.

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Empirically verified by etiquette scientists.

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Well known, but still fascinating.

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The second most true hedgehog fact available.

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This fact has raised a great deal of interest in hedgehog Patronus research.

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A hedgehog Haiku and also a fact.

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A shirt that will make the wearer seem smart, attractive, and interesting.

You can even get the shirt here.

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Caution, beware of this hedgehog fact.

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A startling hedgehog fact.

If you enjoy these, you might enjoy our amazing merchandise available here:

http://urchinwear.net

For more facts, see Twenty Two Mind-Blowing Hedgehog Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Hedgehogs Forever

Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery in the Hundred Acre Woods


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.alice_squirrel_colorAnd so, as we always try to do, we begin our story with a picture with words under it.

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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!”

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“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.”

pp_owlHer 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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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)

 

 

 

Princess Pricklepants and Yet More Hedgehog Art Through The Ages


 

Previously.

Dear reader,

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:

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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.

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And so this time we begin or post with our third picture with words under it.

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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.

Irises-Vincent_van_Gogh

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.

Belshazzar

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.

Rembrandt-Portrait_of_a_Lady_with_a_Hedgehog

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.

Daybreak_by_Parrish_(1922)

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.

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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.

homer

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.

mucha-1879

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!

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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.

Death_of_Socrates

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 Mystery of Monkey Voters (still the working title)

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?

Raphael’s Birth of Hedghog

Mucha’s Art Nouveau Hedgehog

My Patronus Is a Hedgehog

Van Gogh Irises and Also Hedgehog

These and more available here.

Also, there are notecards and things here.

 

Princess Pricklepants and More Hedgehog Art Through the Ages


previously

Dear reader,

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.

Breakfast_Table

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.

whistlershedgiemother

 

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.

The_Lady_with_a-Hedgehog

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.

Raphael_unicorn

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

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

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

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.

Wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fog

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.

popart

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)