Tuesday, August 23, 2005
It was a little darker than usual when I went walking tonight and out here in the country, that can be somewhat intimidating. I must admit that I become a bit unnerved once the sun dips below the horizon and dusk settles across the prairie. The cicadas start their serenade and a new breed of bird joins in. These are calming noises...welcome sounds. I see opossums hiding beneath trees, making their beds for the night and though they aren't the most becoming creatures, they're far from scary. So is it the coyotes who occasionally gather in groups and howl in lonely harmony, the bobcat who lurks in the thicket, waiting for its unsuspecting prey? Not really. I know that both shy away, more afraid of meeting me on this path than I of them. It's not the oogie boogie man...nor the tall Cottonwoods casting long, dark shadows over the creek bed that give me pause. What I fear most, walking along the edge of night is meeting a SKUNK.
Actually, a skunk in itself is really a cute little critter. One afternoon I saw four little babies at the side of the road on my drive home. I stopped the car, rolled down my window and watched as they moved as one, huddled together, their tails in the air. They were fascinating to watch, oblivious to me and intent on their destination. No, cuteness isn't the question, or the fear. It's their tell-tale............tell-TAIL stench!
A couple of years ago one camped out underneath the house of one of our teachers. The next day when she came to school, the pungent odor followed her; into the building, down the hallway and into the classroom. She hadn't even come into contact with the little guy but its trademark smell pursued her with a vengeance and accompanied her anyway. Imagine the impact of meeting face to face, or rather, face to.........
One evening just before twilight, I did encounter a skunk on my way back home. I yelled at my dog, G.T. who was determined to make acquaintance and took off at a dead run. Mishap thwarted. But I know he's out there lurking. He was near the other night while I was mowing and my husband has seen him scurrying to the ditches. Tonight I was out past my walking curfew.....tempting fate. A direct hit would mean isolation; pure and simple quarantine from life as I know it! It would be me and a tent, camping on five acres with only the companionship of a dog, eleven annoying cats, a thousand mosquito's and a wolf spider or two. Under the circumstances, even their company would be questionable!
I sidestepped the rascal this time. Please....take Peppy Le Pew.
Even in animation, there is no love lost here!