September 23, 2008

The Skunk

You know you're white trash when your husband wakes you up at 4:00 in the morning to give you instructions on how to kill a skunk.
It goes something like this:
"Hey, wake up. I trapped a skunk, and I need you to kill it because I'm late for river rafting."
"But I don't kill skunks."
"It's easy. Just leave it out in the sun to die, and then bury it in the back yard."
"But, I don't kill skunks."
"Well, I can't do it. I'm late already and I've got no bullets in my gun."
"But just yesterday I saved two baby birds by hand feeding them every half hour until I found their nest and put them safely back in it. I don't kill things." (This really happened the day before, but I used a little poetic license. It was mostly the girls who fed them, and it was some neighbors who helped find the nest and put them back. But I totally supervised.)
"Well, you don't have to kill it. Just leave it in the trap and the sun will kill it. I'm really late now. I've got to go."

I lay there in bed wrestling with my conscience and trying to figure out what to do. I thought about those little baby birds. And I thought about the skunk. That poor little skunk. She'll get so hungry out there. . . Maybe I could feed her those little baby birds. . .

. . . wait. . .
I digress. . .

I really didn't want to have skunk blood on my hands. Not only because I would feel terrible, but it would stink SO bad!!

No, really, I couldn't kill the skunk. I decided I would set it free. I marched straight out there and analyzed the situation. I saw a steel trap encasing a little fluffy sleeping skunk. (They're so cute when they're asleep.) And I thought I saw what needed to happen to open the cage. I got closer and started working the lever as quietly as I could, but eventually the skunk stirred and I was back in the house before I knew I had started running.

A little while later I ventured out again. This time I was sure I could open the trap, but my concentration was once again interrupted by a moving skunk tail. Finally, I gave up on the trap, and settled on protecting the skunk from the sun with a white sheet (Maybe the same sheet I would later use to fix up a nice dog house for my husband when he came home.)

My best friend, upon hearing my troubles, came right over to help me. She didn't think we should settle on protecting it, but wanted to help me on my original crusade to free it. We put plastic over the top of the cage and started working vigorously with the trap to get it open. We worked so vigorously that the skunk gave us everything she was worth.

My neighbor, 'smelling trouble', came over to see what was going on. I informed him that we were letting the skunk go. He looked at me like I was crazy (now, why would he do that?). Then he said, in his very nicest voice, "Could you please not do that?"

At this point I gave in and said he could kill it. But I asked if he could shoot it instead of letting it die slowly with the heat of the sun.

As I headed inside to take a long shower after an even longer day, I heard the gunshot and was blasted by skunk aroma. Drenched in skunk, and feeling exhausted, I showered off and planned a river rafting trip with my friends.


  1. I hope I'm invited, I love river rafting! Let's plan to go while our kids have maturation day.

  2. Save the Ozone, death to all skunks or at least plug up there squirters.

  3. I think I meant their squirters there.

  4. Doc, I'd love to see you plugging a skunk "squirter", let me know when that's happening and I'll be right over with my camera!

  5. Oh, of course I would leave that up to Jenny. She is good at catching the skunks while they sleep.

  6. Ever since I read your skunk story I haven't been able to get it off my mind. I kind of feel bad for the skunk, so I was trying to come up with a humane solution to your problem. I was kind of thinking you could have taken the skunk to the animal shelter and tried to convince them that it was a stray cat. Either that or drop it off somewhere far away from your home. Maybe like a public park. For example, the playground area at a park seems like a place a skunk would really dig--lots of places to hide and make a new home.