Skunk escape

Story_squareWhen the trapped raccoon turned out to really be a restless skunk, people got a little antsy at our house.

If you’ll remember my story, we thought we were trapping the raccoon who had eaten our duck’s eggs a week before hatching.

We trapped a skunk instead.

Once the jabbering stopped, we still had the problem.

“I was going to work in that barn today,” my husband said. “I don’t want skunk stink in there.”

True. The skunk needed to leave without leaving his scent.

We called our neighbor, she of great farming wisdom. “Cover the cage with a blanket,” she said. “The skunk won’t spray while it’s under the blanket.”

Sometimes you just have to trust.

So my husband gingerly draped an old blanket over the cage. So far, no smells.

Then he grabbed his rifle. This skunk was not going to be stealing duck eggs anymore. With rifle in one hand and cage in the other, he headed for the far end of our pasture.

But not alone. He called to our older son. “You need to come with me.”

Some say looks can kill but this look could have sunk a ship. Our son had no interest in going to the far end of the pasture with a skunk and a man toting a rifle.

But sons are amazing.

He went.

When the entourage arrived to the little knoll with prairie grass waving in the wind, they decided they were far enough from the buildings to risk uncovering the skunk.

It was our son’s job to pull the blanket off the cage.

With a deep breath – maybe his last for all he knew – he crept forward to the cage and plucked the blanket with the tip of his fingers.

Courage is measured in many ways. But one of them has to be an 8-year-old willing his arm to grow as he slowly – can we say cold molasses here? – drew the blanket off the cage.

It was happy ending time. Nobody got sprayed except the cage and some prairie grass.

But I don’t think our son was in any danger. He didn’t stop running until the house blocked his path.

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