Thursday, July 28, 2011

Skunks Stink, Really!

Before I begin this morning's blog, I must ask the following rhetorical question:  Why is it that when sitting in a large house, a fly must single out my coffee cup to land on?  How fast do they leave eggs? Should I disinfect my cup?  Will I get fly larva in my intestines?  There are plenty of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, dammit!  Go there!!  NO.  That would be too convenient.  There are open doors and other human beings asleep with their mouths wide open.  Go visit them.  Good grief!  Leave me alone!!  Stop hovering over my keyboard for Pete's sake!  Deep Breath.  Find my Zen (deep, relaxing pool of crystal clear, sparkling, blue water).  Ok.  I'm better now.

Pepé Le Pew

Skunks stink (ok, yes - they literally do) but they are beautiful animals and for some reason they always seem to follow me about.  Make jokes as you will, but I love them and I tend to be fascinated by their beautiful deep black eyes and lovely striped tails.

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of Pepé Le Pew cartoons. Flower on Bambi?  Waaay too sticky sweet for my liking.  Skunks have really gotten a bad rap with these goofy characters over the years.

Flower on Bambi

My first up front and personal meeting was in my parents' garage when I was about 15 years old.  I was locking up the house one night and as I turned out the lights I saw the unmistakable striped tail scatter underneath my dad's car.  I wasn't frightened, which for me was pretty amazing.  Instead, I stood at the door, looked underneath the chassis, and saw the beautiful black eyes staring back at me.  I wanted to pet it but knew enough that this wasn't the best of ideas.  I told my parents about the visitor under Dad's car.  Alas, they didn't believe me.  Why would we have a skunk?  Our area wasn't known to have these critters.  I must have been seeing things.  Ooookaaaay.  Don't say you weren't warned.

When I came home from school the next day the entire house was wide open - windows, doors, etc.  It appeared that my older brother found this critter (not known to reside in the area) and brought it through the house by it's tail.  To this day, I still don't know if he did it on purpose or because he was being a complete idiot but at the time I figured it was better not to ask.  I desperately wanted to say, "I told you so" to my parents but again, I refrained figuring it was wiser just to bask in my know-it-allness.

My second run-in with skunks was when I lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  My ex-husband and I lived in an old house converted into apartments and ours was on the lower floor.  Every morning we'd wake up to the overwhelming scent of skunk.  One warm summer evening, right outside my open bedroom window, I heard the scampering of several little feet.  There was the Mama skunk and her babies coming home from a night of foraging for food.  It appeared that their nest was below our dining room floor.  We probably could have called someone to remove them.  It certainly would have made our apartment smell better, but I couldn't do it.  They were so sweet.  What could I do, I'm an animal lover?  They were hurting no one and they were there long before we were.

So here I am to today's skunk story.  My dogs, Tank and Tulip, have a "Toy-Toy" which they adore.  Guess what it is?  Yup.  A little skunk tail.  They chase it, play tug-o-war over it, and battle as to who is going to sleep with it under their ear.  On Monday morning I took them out to do their "business" and what did they see in our garden?  Yup.  A little skunk tail; however, a real one this time. 

It's going to be a very long, stinky season.