Prickly Wisdom

Someone posted a link last week to an article about Walt Kelly – I forget the reason…as if you need one. It prompted me to delve in my treasure trove of Pogo compilations.

It is a treasure trove.

These books are probably not worth a lot of money (what books are anymore?), but the drawings, the word play, and the ideas are priceless and never fail to delight me.

For example, if you were sick in bed, wouldn’t you cherish a visit from your great friend Porkypine that included the comforting assurance?

“I jes’ wanted you to know, if they had made soup outta you, I wouldn’uv et any.”

“Wouldn’uv” – that’s worth the price of admission right there. I’ve always been tempted to use that contraction, but I wasn’t sure I knew the proper spelling. Now I may use it every day.

Porky’s personal dietary restrictions are just that; personal. He don’ hold the rest of the world to his standards. He’s pragmatic ‘bout it; “We never know who’s next. Somebody allus is a-eatin’ somebody…in a perfectly friendly way, natural.”

Nowadays, it doesn’t seem as “perfectly friendly” though. But then, perfectly friendly isn’t really Porky’s forte.

Porkypine is a paragon of stability among the denizens of Okefenokee Swamp. He is changeless. He scowls and don’ like nobody enough to hug’em. When asked if he sticks hisself when he rolls over in bed at night, he replies; “Yes, and I’m glad! ……don’ like nobody……” You always know where Porky stands, and with any luck, it’s not too close to you.

I admire ol’ Porky, but I do fear getting too close to him. In these shelter-at-home, social-distancing, tribal partisan days, it’s too easy to get all prickly and snarly and hug-shunning. As Governor Andy says; “You can’t be doin’ that.”

Besides, even Porky gets out and visits folks, whether he likes ‘em or not. He has been to the theatre and gets quite moved by certain performers’ efforts. All my theatre friends wouldn’uv complained if they could’uv earned this review; “One time, in a ha’penny tent opera, he sung such a fiery, bing-bang, harum scarum, drag’em out death scene, I din’t think he’d live through it.”

I’d buy a ticket to that.

Yes, I’m thinkin’ there are some swamps that don’ need to be drained.

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