Around 4 PM today, I had just loaded into the pick-up truck my mother's dome-shaped barbecue that looks kind of like one of those three-legged thingies from War of the Worlds except it's dome-shaped. I had to carry it through the side yard and, when I went back to close the gate I spied it.
It had crossed half the length of the front porch and had reached the open screen door of my mother's house, sniffing around, exploring, possibly looking for adventure.
A baby skunk.
My first thought was about it's cuteness.
My second one was about how it stood by an open screen door and had I remembered to shut the actual front door of my mother's house as I had been entering and exiting absent-mindedly all afternoon, carrying stuff to the pick-up.
I watched silently as it sniffed towards the door. My first impulse was to take a step towards it to see if it would run away.
Oh yeah, skunk! I tried to remember in all of my knowledge about skunks whether or not the baby skunks could shoot very far with their spray. I decided I'd better not experiment with that idea.
So, I thought I'd take a wide girth around it and see if it would continue across the front porch. Thankfully, it galloped across the porch and into the bushes in the neighbors yard.
I thought about warning them. Then, I realized that this baby skunk was a sign of a healthy eco-system somewhere nearby and that, if I did tell them, the neighbor lady would have wanted it dead. Not only that, but she would not have rested until every member of its family had been found and killed. I realized that, if I did not tell them, it was possible that the baby skunk and its family might actually thrive for years to come. They might even be a source of food to the owls and hawks that nest in the area.
Plus, I wouldn't want to deny my neighbors the joy of discovery I had just experienced.