Friday, June 12, 2009

Pie's Last Blog

Pie’s last blog.

When I started Pie’s blog Page I had an idea which I thought readers of the blog might enjoy. Our intention was always to let Pie go free when he was old enough, and what I planned on doing was writing a monthly blog by Pie as he wandered around the Touw River Valley, The Wilderness and Porcupine Pie Lodge itself, and letting Pie tell interesting and amusing stories of happenings at the Lodge.
In the middle of May we received a second porcupine that we estimate to be about 6 months old. But this was definitely a worldly porcupine that was not vaguely interested in captivity. It was in fact such a character that we named it “Cracker”. Well Cracker escaped the enclosure on it’s first night here and spent the days in hiding, but came out every night for dinner and then spent the night lying with Pie but on the outside of the enclosure.
That decided us – it was time to set Pie free. We cut a section of the fence away the next day at lunch time. Pie watched us, sniffed around the open piece but did not move.
Only after dinner, when Cracker was with him did he finally venture out. We watched sadly as he & Cracker paddled off down the trail towards the valley – would we ever see them again?
At 3.30am we were woken by a commotion & went out to find that Pie & Cracker had broken into the dog’s enclosure and were happily sleeping next to Cole & Saffron’s kennel. We always suspected that Pie thought he was a dog, but here was the proof – he was back with the friends he had grown up with & was feeling secure.
And as everyone seemed perfectly comfortable with this sleeping arrangement we did not worry about it.
Unbeknown to us, Pie was “marking his territory every time he went out which in turn was attracting wild porcupines – one of which broke into the dog’s enclosure . Whether Cole was defending Pie, or whether he simply did not realise that not all porcupines were friendly he tragically suffered the consequence of us messing with nature.
Cole, the beautiful 75kg Great Dane with not a nasty bone in his body died on the morning of the 27th May from injuries sustained.
We not only lost the most wonderful dog anyone could hope to have, but this event has upset the balance and created mistrust between all involved. Saffron is now terrified of porcupines, and the porcupines do not trust her or us the way they used to. It was however us who created this un-natural situation, and we wanted to make sure that Pie & Cracker do not suffer as a result of what has happened. We have made enquiries and are happy to announce that Botlierskop Private Game Reserve in Little Brak River on the Garden Route have agreed to give them a new home from next week.
Pie might at some stage start writing his blogs again from Botlierskop, but I am sorry, this will be Pie’s last blog from here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What A Name


Pie. It is a strange name, even for a Porcupine, but as time has gone by I have grown to not only accept, but even enjoy it. I see the expression on guests faces when I am introduced, thinking how could anyone call their Porcupine Pie, but I am really grateful that I was adopted by John & Judy – imagine if it had been Angelina & Brad, I could have been Maddox Porcupine, Zahara Porcupine or even Shiloh Nouvel Porcupine. That would have sucked for my image out there! No, Pie is good for me.
How did they come up with the name – I have heard this explanation so often that it’s beginning to sound like a broken record (as you get to know John you will realise that he tells a good story, but he sure tells the same one over & over, and he can drag them out for ever – something Judy does point out when allowed to!) Anyway, when they first moved down to Wilderness from Johannesburg a few years ago John had to lay a couple of kilometers of cement strip road in order to offer access to their lodge-to-be. After doing the first strips and being hugely proud of them he was really upset next morning to find a set of footprints paddling up the length he had laid. They weren’t Baboon, Leopard, Lynx, all of which are found in the valley, or even that of domestic dogs – also found in the valley. Fortunately Duimpie (which means little thumb) and Kobus, the two guys who John inherited when they bought the farm, and know everything about the farm, and do everything that needs to be done could enlighten John – Porcupine prints was what they were. John mentioned this to Judy on his return to the house, who immediately exclaimed that’s it - Porcupine Pie!! I had better explain at this time that John & Judy had bought this amazing 26h farm with the intention of building a lodge overlooking the Wilderness National Park. They knew the importance of a name – Misty Mountain, Happy Valley or Sea View just wouldn’t be remembered – they wanted something that would intrigue and be unforgettable, and some singer called Neil Diamond got high on LSD in the 70’s & came out with a weird song called Porcupine Pie – Google it and you will see what I mean.
The lodge was launched & doing fine, & then one day I pitched up on their doorstep. John (who not only tells long stories, but also has no imagination – he was a suit in the ad business which says it all) wanted to call me Spike (yuck) but fortunately some other brainless person has already called their Porcupine Spike, so I got to be named after the Lodge – and as far as we know only one booking has been lost because Porcupine Pie is served at the Lodge!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pie in the Sky

“Pie” is a delightful porcupine – about 5 – 6 months old as far as we can ascertain. Pie was bought to us as an orphaned young porcupine found wandering around, very hungry and very frightened, near a farm in the vicinity of Uniondale, South Africa.
We are unsure if Pie is male or female, and so far nobody has volunteered to find out! For the purposes of this write-up we will assume he is a male!
Because of our Lodge name he was offered to us to care for – for the first month we kept him warm and dark in our spare bedroom, but as he grew and became stronger and more adventurous we moved him to an enclosure in the garden where he can play and dig to his hearts content.
Our aim is to keep him in the enclosure until he is old enough to fend for himself. At that stage we will take part of the fence away, and let him come and go as he likes. Hopefully the Sweetcorn and ProNutro – which are his two favorite foods – will be enough to keep him coming back to visit at feeding time!