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The Porcupine's Quill:  A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
September 27, 2015


News Item:  The Pope, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires and formally
Archbishop of Buenos Aires, visited the US this week.

Jorge was a very kind boy, even though they say he worked as a night club bouncer
for a while ... er, before he joined the church you know.  Yes, he was very kind.

How do you know him?

I was his pet squirrel ...

Pet squirrel!  What an odd pet ... how did he pick you?

Well, it was sort of an accident.  I fell out of my nest and there I was all helpless,
trying to scurry anywhere.  But he picked me up and stroked me with his gentle
hands, even though I tried to nip him.  Anyway, I calmed down and he put me in his
pocket and there I stayed.  He would show me to his little friends.

Heavens!  How did he feed you?

Oh, he was very clever.  He had a teeny, tiny bottle of milk and cotton wool.  He
soaked it in the milk and I sucked on it.  Later on I graduated to nuts and very soon I
was also fending for myself.

He couldn't keep you in his pocket forever ...

Yes, I did become too big and he got a cage.  First I stayed there most of the time.  
But he was kind and understood my nature, so he would leave the cage open.  I
came and went as I pleased, storing some nuts in there.  He was also smart enough
to know the danger lurking in the form of night carnivores, and he would lock the
cage at night.

Wasn't this all a long time ago when he was a small boy?  So where are you now?  
You couldn't be alive could you?

You guessed right ... I am long dead.  They never give us as much time on earth as
we want.  But it's not so bad ... I am on this piece of earth in heaven.  Funny isn't it?  
You talk about places that are heaven on earth, and we actually haven an earth on
heaven.  It's the same, yet not.  There is not struggle to live because no one can die
-- a simulacrum if you like, but lacking the excitement and adrenal surges of the real
thing.  There is only one real life, after all ...