Sunday, July 11, 2010

On Skunks

While I was dogsitting for my dad last week, I came back to the house to find a friendly visitor in the front yard. No, it wasn't the well-meaning but overly personable mentally challenged guy from down the drive; yes, it was a skunk as the title suggests.

At first I just kept approaching the thing. I was busy, still singing in my head from the drive up with the wind in my face and a blaring radio. Then I realized there was a critter in front of me.

First thought? "Oh, aren't you cute! What the hell are you?" This is a fair question. This wasn't the kind of skunk you see in movies. With it's tail down and fir immaculately groomed (and without his Winter plump), it just looks like some kind of skinny, black ferret. "What are you doing eating our yard seeds in the daytime, little ferret?"

About then process of elimination as to hat this odd little thing was started to pick up. I examined the adorable little hands and the shorter fur and the long snout, and I reached the conclusion "skunk" right as I caught a glint of white on its tail.

And yet I'm still an idiot.

Next thoughts? "Oh, awesome, I'm so close. That thing is really cute! It looks like that pink-nosed skunk bitch from Bambi. What was its name, again? (It was "Flower.") I wonder if I can pet it. I wonder if someone lost it. People keep skunks as pets. They just get them de-scented-"


There's a reason people have to get their pet skunks de-scented. Suddenly everything about what skunks do when they're scared came back to me, but, not surprisingly at this point, it never occurred to me that my respect for all cuddly mammals and general suaveness might not placate the skunk.

I figured I wasn't scared of him, he shouldn't be afraid of me. We're both critters. If I can go about my day without bothering him, he should respect that and do the same. We'll be buddies.

Finally this train of thought seemed what we'll call "stupid." I wondered if I could just get passed the skunk and into the house on the walkway. There was a good four or five feet of space. As I inched forward in a very purposeful but oblivious manner, Mr. Skunk raised his tail an almost imperceptible degree higher and stopped chewing the seed he had found.

Remembering that skunks can shoot a concentrated stream of stank accurately distances of up to ten feet, I slowly backed away and waited until my not-friend went back to his nuts and seeds.

I ended up getting inside by taking a wide arc around the little guy, well out of ass-stink range, all the while not pointing in his direction, trying to reduce the amount of fear pheromones I was pumping through calming exercises, and just generally giving off the air of an animal that came across another animal it knows and doesn't want to bother.

Only later did I remember: I fucking hated Flower. Little pink-nosed bitch ruined my concept of PepƩ Le Pew for me forever. Looking back on it, I'm pretty sure she was just constantly rolling ecstasy. Nothing always that happy.

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