To a virtual echidna, upon turning his picture out so a class could write a short essay

He is unique, like all of us,
He also is oblivious
Of all those things that make
Connections among them people.

He wears his spikes somewhat proudly,
His claws are sharp
And rather tidy,
His face is long, but not with scorn.

His step is careful among the ants,
He digs, and excavates, and pants
To get his lunch up from the ground,
He’s eating grubs without a sound.

And walks away, a little monster —
Like one of us, his spikes outside.
His home is desert, dry and lifeless,
No friends, no love, yet dignified.

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