Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Little Visitor

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.


vivage said...

The story has a much happier ending if you don't tell the neighbors.

Donita said...

Jeez, I'm glad you didn't meet up with it in the house! Makes me wonder where the mom was.

We had a family of skunks living under our house in Santa Rosa. They moved out on their own. I was so glad we didn't have to deal with it. Maybe they moved out because we were too noisy. Damn musicians!

I got a huge kick out of the family of skunks I saw on the way back down from Mt.Rube. They were about 30 feet away from me. I yelled, "Hey, skunkies!" and in a FLASH they all formed a circle, heads in, tails out and raised. They stayed frozen that way for about 10 seconds and then the mom decided to get them all moving. That's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

Next time you fo to your mom's make some noise. I'd hate for you to have to take a tomato juice shower.