I Fought the Skunk and I Won
(Page 4 of 4)
With the stick, I twisted the trap onto its side and the doors snapped shut. Now I was eight feet away from a freed skunk. Slowly I backed up, wondering just how far away was safe from a spray. I glanced toward the car at my wife who was chortling at my predicament. I retreated to the other side of the car as the skunk stood there facing me. It turned away from me with its tail straight up in the air, looked back over its shoulder at me, and for a few moments we exchanged macho glares. I held my breath for what seemed a long time. Then it turned around, tail still upright, and waddled off.
I heaved a sigh of relief. The skunk had been caged, transported on the car roof, prodded twice with a stick and maintained its cool, apparently secure in the knowledge that it could not lose the contest. I, less confident of the outcome, felt that I had nevertheless restored my fractured outdoorsmanship – at least to some degree – and had also been introduced to the animal’s gentle and affable nature. As I watched the skunk disappear into the woods, I reflected on how, if I hadn’t waited until the frosty days of October to repair the porch, the entire episode could have been avoided. I should have known better, but then again, I know more about skunks now than I ever intended to learn.
A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Norbert Nathanson has enjoyed a varied career as an artist, college professor and writer/director for public broadcasting. Now retired, he gardens, writes, and, with his wife, enjoys a quiet life in a rural hamlet in Maine.
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