Friday, October 06, 2006

Sometimes Life Stinks

My Uncle was telling us about a stinky situation he encountered during the summer. He and my Aunt couldn't help but notice the pungent smell of a certain little black and white creature permeating their backyard day after day. This, of course, is not necessarily unusual for city life as "forest" animals find themselves needing to adapt to the ever-growing urban sprawl. Raccoons and skunks and opossums are regular backyard visitors - but it's the skunks who have been cursed with that undeniable signature odour.

And when the odour didn't eventually start to fade, my uncle investigated and found the little intruder huddled beneath the bushes against the fence in his adjoining neighbours backyard. And so, he called the local animal control.

Animal control came and said they couldn't get the skunk because it wasn't in HIS yard and his fence was blocking her access. So, like anyone desperate to relieve their nose, my Uncle basically says, "Oh yeah, watch this!" and proceeds to tear his fence apart against the back.

The little skunk didn't even spray them. Just sat there huddled and scared under the bushes. The animal control lady had a towel (not sure what that would prevent) to try and protect her against the spray should the skunk decide to let loose. But, he didn't. The lady pulled him out with that little noose thingy they use and put him in a cage.

My Uncle and the Animal Control girl couldn't help but notice that the little skunk looked rather distressed. It was weepy eyed and just plain down-and-out. My Uncle said it looked like the skunk was crying, Miss Animal Control said he was probably really ill and no longer had any control over his gland function. And that's why it couldn't help but continue to spray even though not particularly threatened. A skunk will not spray on purpose unless absolutely necessarily because, apparantly, they don't even like their own smell.

And as I'm hearing this story, my mind immediately begins thinking of how bad that little skunk must have felt - scared and huddled all alone under the bushes, not knowing where to go. Perhaps it had a disease like Trimethylaminuria and was shunned by all its skunky friends and family and banished from the forest. Perhaps, THAT'S why it was crying. Perhaps (at least in my head) hiding in the backyard of a human was the only place the little skunk had to go, it's last hope in being "rescued" and being rid of its lifelong misery.

And then, when Miss Animal Control put the skunk into the back of her truck, he once again (involuntarily, I like to think) released his musky scent. A final goodbye.

1 comment:

Quirky Christa said...

So sad, poor little skunk.