It was a beautiful autumn afternoon in the Big Dark Forest. Racum Raccoon was outside playing with a big pile of leaves that he had just finished raking up.
“This is so much fun!” exclaimed Racum to himself as he stood in the middle of the pile throwing leaves up over his head.
Racum continued throwing leaves around until suddenly he felt something sharp on his paw.
“Ouch!” cried Racum. “That hurt!”
Racum looked down at the pile of leaves and to his surprise saw a porcupine crawling slowly out from under it.
“Your quills are sharp,” said Racum, looking at the porcupine.
“I know,” said the porcupine. “I don’t like them one bit.”
“Why?” asked Racum.
“Because they make everyone afraid of me,” said the porcupine.
“I’m not afraid of you,” said Racum.
“You’re not,” said the porcupine.
“No,” said Racum. “I’m not afraid. You are a porcupine and you have quills. So what! That’s not a reason to be afraid.”
“Well then how come nobody wants to be my friend?” asked the porcupine.
“I’d be your friend if you asked me to,” said Racum.
“You would,” the porcupine said surprised. You would really be my friend.”
“Sure I would,” said Racum, extending his paw out to the porcupine. “My name is Racum.”
“My name is Peter,” said the porcupine. “Are you sure you want me to shake your paw?”
Racum looked down at the sharp quills extending from Peters outstretched paw and quickly pulled his own paw away.
“Maybe not,” laughed Racum. “Maybe not!”