Aisha and the Porcupine
While Aisha was having a picnic with her family one day she took herself off for a short walk. She liked the green area where she was walking very much indeed. While she was walking around she noticed a ball covered with sharp spikes. "It's a good job I didn't tread on that, otherwise the spikes could have hurt me badly," she said to herself. Then, to her amazement, the ball slowly unrolled and spoke:
"You're right, Aisha," it said. "I am a porcupine and I could have hurt you with my spikes even without wanting to."
"There's a porcupine here!" exclaimed Aisha happily. "Why is your body covered with sharp spikes like that?"
"Allah gave me these spikes to protect myself from my enemies" explained the porcupine. "When I'm in danger I roll up like a ball and the spikes protect me."
"I know some animals go to sleep during the winter. Do you?" she asked her new friend.
The porcupine nodded. "I can't say I like cold weather very much. As soon as the winter temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) I go to sleep. Almighty Allah keeps me asleep throughout the winter and wakes me up when spring comes. It would be impossible for me to think for myself that winter conditions would be so severe that it would be better for me to sleep for a while to stay alive. In the Quran Allah says this: 'Among His Signs is your sleep by night and day and your seeking after His bounty. There are certainly Signs in that for people who hear.' (Surat ar-Rum: 23)"
"You see," it went on, "just like all living creatures, Allah tells us when is the best time to look for food."
Aisha thought for a moment: "In a documentary I saw you fighting fearlessly with a huge lion. How come you're not afraid of lions?"
Her friend replied: "Because of these spikes on my body, which Allah has given me as a blessing, I can set myself fearlessly against even the most dangerous of my enemies. When a lion attacks I first run away quickly. I suddenly stop in a good place, raise the back part of my body a little and point my spikes at it. If the lion tries to catch me with his teeth, my spines sink into his mouth and cheeks and open wounds which cannot be healed."
"Eventually, it comes to the point where the lion can't eat anything and finally he dies. Of course this comes about through the intelligence and fighting technique our Almighty Lord has given me. It is He Who created me and gave me the best characteristics for me to stay alive."
"You're right, brother porcupine," agreed Aisha, as she had a closer look at the spines on its body.
"Every time I look at animals and the variety of what Allah has created, it helps me to see His greatness and the wonder of His creation. Thank you for the pleasant chat," she said, as she went back to join her family before they began wondering where she had got to.
"Goodbye, my friend," cried the porcupine.