I usually root for the little guy, and this porcupine more than qualifies. Confronted by a pride of 17 lions on the African savannah, luck did not seem to be shining on this spiny critter the evening this video was shot.

But with some seriously deft maneuvers, the porcupine amazingly manages to save his thorny tail. And the lions look kind of perplexed – maybe they’re contemplating whether the mouthful of needles is worth the morsels of meat inside?

I have just gained a whole new level of respect for the porcupine.