Folkmanis Porcupine

Pliny explains porcupines:

THE Porkpens come out of India and Affricke: a kind of Urchin or Hedgehog they be: armed with pricks they be both; but the Porkpen hath the longer sharpe pointed quilles, and those, when he stretcheth his skin, he sendeth and shooteth from him: when the hounds presseth hard upon him, hee flyeth from their mouthes, and then taketh vantage to launce at them somewhat farther off. In the winter he lyeth hidden, as the nature is of many beasts to doe, and the Beares above the rest.

Shakespeare references porcupines in two different plays; in The Comedy of Errors, he refers to an inn called the Porpentine, and the ghost of Hamlet's father (Hamlet I.v) moans,

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine

Porcupines also appear in heraldry occasionally, including the arms of Louis XII.