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In a remote prairie in southern Texas a family of Porcupines are

grooming each other while keeping an eye out for predators.

But they needn’t worry because they are watched over by a dozen

humans.

Who provide them with the best of care seven days a week

 

This family of porcupines are famous the world over for their

quills.

The quills are of the finest quality and are in demand by all the movers

and shakers.

 

Cedric the eldest son has especially fine quills and his services are highly

sort after.

As Cedric’s mother grooms him a horseman approaches and hands over

a telegram.

A telegram with the presidential seal.

 

Cedric listens as his father reads the letter ‘The president of the United States

of America,George Washington,requests the services of Cedric the quill master’

Cedric’s father is still talking but Cedric is no longer he is already thinking about

life beyond the prairie.

 

A week later a stage coach arrives  to take Cedric on his first journey of life.

His parents couldn’t be prouder as they accompany their son all the way to

Philadelphia.

 

After travelling for a couple of days they finally arrive at the presidents

residence in the centre of town.

Where with a tearful goodbye to his parents Cedric disembarks ready to start

his services for the president.

 

He is greeted on the front steps by a butler and shown to his room.

After a few hours rest and a quick meal Cedric is taken downstairs to the

presidents office to begin his duties.

 

George Washington enters with an air of authority and takes a seat at his

desk.

Cedric is so nervous he is shaking and sweating up a storm.

He cant believe that he is in the same room as the president hopefully his

quills will live up to expectations.

He feels a gentle tug as a quill is plucked from his back.

 

Washington dips the quill in ink and starts to write his first official letter

of correspondence since becoming president.

As he writes Washington talks out loud ‘My dear fellow Americans it is a

great honour to serve you as your president’

‘I will do everything in my power to provide a stable trustworthy government’.

 

Cedric is bored as he listens to the president talk and talk and talk.

Surely he isn’t expected to sit here all day and night.

He looks around the room looking for something to occupy his mind.

Than a servant enters the room carrying the presidents lunch on a silver

tray.

Cedric’s stomach rumbles when he smells the food.

And he remembers that he hasn’t eaten in a few hours.

 

As the president eats his lunch Cedric wanders off in the direction of the kitchen

But he doesn’t get very far before he is manhandled back to the presidents office.

The butler tells him that under no circumstances is he to leave the presidents side

while he is in office.

His quills are to be made available around the clock.

 

An hour later a plate of food is placed before him and Cedric swallows it down

without even tasting it.

But than like clockwork he feels the call of nature.

But he doesn’t dare leave without permission.

Than like magic the butler arrives and escorts him to the outhouse.

Where he goes to the far corner to do his business.

 

As he opens his bowels he hears whispering coming from the batthroom

window ‘Washington has to be taken out before he has the chance to draw up

the constitution’

‘There is also talk that he plans to free the slaves and introduce federal taxes.

 

Cedric doesn’t recognise the voice because he has only been here half a day.

But he will know it if he hears it again.

He races back to the presidents office and resumes his place at Washington’s

side.

He doesn’t know when the assassination attempt will take so he will have to be

on his guard.

 

Weeks pass without incident and Cedric starts to think that he assassins have had

a change of heart.

He has proven himself as a loyal and trustworthy worker and he would lay down

his life to protect the president.

And the president has also grown very fond of his porcupine.

He scratches Cedric’s stomach like he is a pet dog.

 

Two months after taking office the president and Cedric are out for a stroll

around the gardens when Cedric’s quills stand on end.

Twenty feet behind them the presidents bodyguards are talking.

Cedric recognises one of the voices right away it is the same voice he heard

at the outhouse.

 

Cedric swivels around and sees one of the bodyguards stab the other guard with

a knife.

Now the killer only has eyes for the president.

He runs forward brandishing the blood soaked knife and is only ten feet behind

the president.

When without thinking Cedric turns his back on the assassin and fires twenty

quills.

 

All of the quills have hit the target but one has entered the assassins left eye

killing him instantly.

The president finally realises that something is amiss

And when he turns around he sees his bodyguard on the ground with a quill

in his eye.

He also notices the blood soaked knife and the other bodyguard dead in a pool

of blood.

 

Than it dawns on him that Cedric the porcupine has just saved his life.

They were close before but now George Washington and Cedric are like ham

and cheese.

The perfect match of master and pet.

 

Cedric is glad that he was able to save the president.

But there were two people at the outhouse that day.

So that means that another assassin is still out there

The president isn’t out of danger just yet.

 

Back at his residence Washington is still in shock.

But he has a country to run so he soon gets back to business.

Cedric dispenses quills while he remains on high alert.

 

Cedric is asleep when he senses a presence in his room

And there is a strange odour in the air.

He tries to sit up but he is quickly subdued and tied to his bed.

And even though he hasn’t seen or heard him before.

Cedric knows that this man is the second assassin.

 

Another person enters the room and Cedric is surprised to see the butler.

‘All we have to do is rub the poison into the quills and when Washington

takes one the poison will enter his system and he will die an agonising death’.

Cedric tries to struggle free but it is no use.

He is almost overcome but the stench of the poison as it is rubbed into his

quills.

 

The butler and the second assassin untie Cedric and carefully carry the porcupine

into the presidents office.

He is tied to the leg of the desk so he cant escape.

The co- conspirators remove their rubber gloves and leave the room hoping that their

plan comes fruition

 

Five minutes later Washington enters his office to start another day in office.

Cedric is beside himself even though he can understand the words that are spoken

by the humans he cant talk himself.

So he cant warn the president about the poison.

He knows that his master likes to touch a few quills before he picks one.

So he lowers his body and lifts up his head.

 

Washington is annoyed and confused by the porcupines behaviour.

How is he supposed to get down to business if he cant reach a quill?

The vice president and the butler enter the room and are annoyed to see

that Washington is still alive.

Cedric is surprised when he recognises the vise president as the second assassin.

He arches his back and his quills start to quiver.

But the vice president and the butler ore on the other side of the room and out

of range.

 

The president is confused to why his vice president is standing on the other side

of the room ‘What are you doing over there John? Come over here so we can get down to business’

‘Sorry mister president  i was just telling Henry about an issue that needs his attention’

‘Why don’t you pick a quill and start writing and i will be with you in a moment’

 

Cedric wriggles and snorts to get the presidents attention but his master is still talking

to his vice president.

He knows that the presidents life is in his hands or in this case his quills.

 

He has never shot his quills more then ten feet before and the two arseholes are

standing over twenty feet away.

He looks at them standing there looking smug thinking that they are way out of

range.

Cedric

He turns his back clenches his stomach than with a huge pelvic thrust he aims

and fires.

 

The vice president and the butler are both stunned when they are hit.

Than they smile because the quills haven’t penetrated their skin.

The quills are caught in their clothing having missed the mark.

They both laugh as they remove the quills with their bare hands.

But that is the last thing they should have done.

 

The poison has entered their blood stream now there is no coming back.

They look at each other and they know that they are goners.

 

The president can only watch in horror as the two men convulse on the floor.

Foaming at the mouth like a pair of rabid dogs.

They are bent out of shape as their bodies react to the poison.

Than with a final painful breath they die.

 

 

Once  again Cedric has saved George Washington’s life.

A porcupine has once more come to the rescue.

The president unties Cedric and goes to give him a grateful hug.

Cedric backs away and with a sigh dispels his remaining quills.

 

He is now as naked as a newborn but at least he is now poison free.

And he accepts the presidents gratitude with a smile.

 

George Washington and Cedric worked side by side for over eight years

laying the foundation stones of the United States of America.

For sixteen hours a day they toiled away.

 

But time doesn’t stop for anybody.

Not even for the president of the United States.

And on the 4th March 1797 George Washington retired from office.

 

There are plenty of portraits of George Washington in museums all

over America.

And none of them feature a porcupine

But be rest assured that he was there.

 

THE END.