Friday, November 2, 2012

Skunk Tale

This has been a very good year for skunks. There are skunks everywhere! Including under an old shed in the middle of the sheep lot. Early one morning last January while I was still trying to figure out how to get coffee cup to mouth, the dogs pitched a royal, howling fit. Since there had been a coyote on the prowl for several weeks, it seemed pretty important that I go see what was going on. I was at least wearing sweat pants, but only had slippers on my feet, and was wearing a sort of plastic clam shell brace that covered my whole torso. Grabbed flashlight. Stumbled across the yard. Dogs were very clear about the location of the problem. It seemed to have something to do with a goose. A not very healthy looking goose.

I stepped over the fence (top strand of barbed wire—not good for sweat pants) and shuffled across the sheep lot to the corner of the shed. The goose was on it's side and sort of twitching. Just as I got to the corner of the shed a little,pointy, black and white nose poked out of a hole leading under the shed. Mr. Skunk said a bad word or two, grabbed goose by the neck and tried to drag it through the hole.

The logical thing to do would have been to go back to the house and get the gun. But nooo. My brain is just not working that well in it's decaffeinated state. When the little head popped back out again I bopped him on his little nose with the flashlight and scolded him for stealing the goose. Took me thirty minutes and more coffee to realize that my actions might not have been the most approprate.

The goose probably died of natural causes (no self respecting skunk would go for a healthy goose) like old age. It was 15 or so.

Then there was the “skunk on the back porch in the middle of the night”episode. I told the skunk to go back outdoors (kitty door) and closed the door into the kitchen. He left.

And then there was this episode. At least the dogs were wise enough to stay away till the skunk waddled off. Only to reappear at a later date.

cute little guy
It's almost bed time but one cat is still out so I wait just a few minutes more. Sure enough, cat paws at the door. They can get onto the front porch via the dog door but have to wait for me to open the inside door. When I opened the door to let the cat in, the dogs went wild and made a dive for the dog door . Skunk. And, it wanted into the house!

There is always a stock stick near the door so I used it to push the storm door open but Skunk wasn't interested in going back out, thank you. So I stepped out onto the porch with him, held the door open with one hand and used the stock stick to try to nudge him out. Nope. Nothing doing. No way am I going to fire the gun on the porch. There is only one thing left to do.

Speaking softly, and with much respect, and maintaining eye contact with the little guy, I slowly and carefully reached over him, and picked him up by the tip of his beautiful, fluffy tail. Makes a great handle! He said bad words, but couldn't do much else! At arms length, I carried him out the front gate and well into the drive before setting him on his feet. He huffed something obscene under his breath and disappeared into the night.

I'm setting live traps now. And looking before I open the door.

Maybe sheep stuff tomorrow.

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