Thursday, November 04, 2004


Until we lived out here, I don't think I'd ever seen a skunk alive, only dead ones on the road. I was shocked and fascinated when I got to watch a skunk going around digging its little holes getting grubs the first time. We lived in the old old little tiny trailer then and I watched it out the window. Since then I've seen so many, often enough in close proximity. They just seem sort of dull, almost blind, shuffling waddling sort of little animals who don't bother much. We smell them more often than see them so they are around a lot.

My habit is to milk after dark now that night is lengthening (Persephone walks the underworld), then walk the slop down to the hogs. There are two far flung nests the chickens lay in that are on the way to the pigs and usually I just wait until I'm on my way back to the house to get those eggs. One of those nests is beneath a tree under the road and one is under an overturned plastic snow sled. Last night was a very nice evening and I enjoyed my respite taking the slop to the hogs. I picked up two eggs from the first nest and continued up the hill. I raised the side of the sled and an animal came out! I jumped way back, dropping the sled back down, although my first thought was that it was a cat. Then I saw it was a skunk, small, waddling, white stripe, very fluffy tail. It shuffled off unhurriedly. I thought I was lucky to not get sprayed. I thought I would have a good story to tell.

I looked back under the sled again to make sure there weren't any eggs under there. It smelled really strongly of skunk so I turned it up so it could air out. I thought I might as well go on over to the chicken coop and shut them up for the night since I was down here and didn't have many eggs to carry. Walking to the coop I started smelling skunk strongly again. I didn't know where it had gone and I got all jumpy, scanning with the flashlight to see if I could see it anywhere. I couldn't. At the coop I smelled it even more strongly. I thought maybe it was under the coop and was hoping against hope that it wasn't going to spray me when I stepped down from the coop, but it wasn't there. When I was still smelling it when I got to the house, I began to suspect it wasn't the skunk I was smelling but me. I knew for sure when I opened the door to the house and 2nd daughter said, "Oooooh, why do I smell skunk?". I shut the door, me on the outside and hollered for husband.

"HUSBAND!" He was in the building working. "What?" "Come here, I need you!" "What? I smell a skunk." "No, you don't smell a skunk. That's me. I got sprayed by a skunk." "Oh." Then the drama began, gagging, choking, oh that stinks. Husband is like that, always having fun. But he dutifully went inside and found the H2O2 and the baking soda while I took off my clothes.

Luckily it was unseasonably warm. The kids, curious as they were, still stayed inside quite willingly. I washed myself off with the anti-skunk solution outside while husband started drawing me a hot bath inside, then I got in that lavender laced bath. Ah, take me away. My next request was for a Mike's Hard Lime. Take me a little further away. Then I told the story of how it all happened to my family. Then I repeated it several times for my kids' amusement.

I may have to set the live trap to get rid of skunks around the house. I really don't want to go through getting sprayed again. Although if you went to Wal-Mart stinking like that, you could shop by yourself! There is an advantage in everything if you can just bring yourself to see it.

My clothes are still outside.


cheeky monkey said...

Hi CG-- I am curious about your farm life. My husband and I are thinking of leaving big city and moving north to Vermont. Have you always been a farm gal? Or was it a big move? And is it in your soul now? We're noth thinking farming (big garden and maybe some goats... and if I can convince myself that I can care for babies AND a horse, then a lovely quarter horse or the like!)

Enjoy the peace and quiet, and the skunks. The skunks in Canada look slightly punky--almost with mohawks on their blazing backs.

Karen Sue said...

I've had that experience 2xs with my dog..the skunk smell is so strong, it's almost not skunky, just gross and then it hits you..whew!!