A Prickly Customer

This is my FRIDAY FICTIONEERS entry for today. This week, the picture’s courtesy of Marie Gail Stratford, someone who can always be relied upon to come up with an excellent response to Rochelle’s weekly challenge. Sadly, I’ve no idea what’s in the picture so I’ve had to busk it a little. After 3 puns in a row, I might pop back and change the title but for now, it’ll have to stand.


Norbert disliked childhood but adolescence was even more of a disappointment. He’d always been big, though he’d assumed his stocky frame would become muscular but he stayed blobbish as his brother, Jeremy, the so-called runt, became dashingly impish. He’d hoped, at least, that his voice would break but the same unintelligible squeaks persisted in coming out every time he opened his mouth.

Every night, he’d go to bed and wish he’d wake to find he was really a misplaced porcupine. Every morning, he’d realise he was still a hedgehog. Hans Christian Anderson had a lot to answer for.




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40 responses to “A Prickly Customer

  1. Dear Etienne,

    We’re never really satisfied with who we are, are we? Cute story.



  2. I love where your brain took this, absurdly brilliant.

  3. Haha, cute story. I kinda wish I’d taken an Australian tack and gone down the echidna route myself now.

  4. Enjoyable way to start my reading, Etienne.


  5. Fun stuff, Etienne. I love what you did with the prompt. There really is no reason to know what a picture is of when there are elements of the photo (in this case spikes or prickles) that you can use as a jumping-off point.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  6. Imaginative story here Etienne, and a great twist at the end! I enjoyed it
    Well done!

  7. Poor Norbert, if only he knew how I adore hedgehogs. Cute story.

  8. I love the idea of being dashingly impish. Great take on the prompt.

  9. Poor Norbert. A hedgehog stuck (!) in a porcupine world. Thanks for starting us off with a smile 😉

  10. I love hedgehogs and have played with them before, however never a porcupine. Although, a dog we had once had an unfortunate encounter with one. This is a cute story and Norbert is who he is. You made me smile too! Nan 🙂

  11. This is great, I love the description of the boys. And this cluster really looks like a porcupine.

  12. Poor guy 😦
    I hope he learns to love himself and whatnot 🙂

  13. Ahhh, poor Norbert. I hope he someday accepts himself. Great response to the prompt. 🙂

  14. Michael B. Fishman

    That was a fun story. I thought Norbert was a person until I got to the last sentence and it wasn’t until I reread it I could really enjoy all your wordplay! I didn’t get the Hans Christian Andersen reference though. Does the story allude to one of his fairy tales?

  15. Great fun but I too didn’t get the HCA reference.

  16. Not an ugly duckling, not a swan – a lovely hedgehog. Beautiful story.

  17. This is fantastic. Nice title and awesome take on the prompt! I’m not sure what this is a picture of either…

  18. Really cute story, Etienne. Poor Norbert is just going to have to accept who he is. Humorous and well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

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