First Encounter of the Skunk Kind

Skunk Tail

No question, about it.  Robin, having grown up on a farm, and learning all the skills that came with it, was nothing short of an expert marksman.  This wasn’t just with firearms.  Robin could hit a can off a fence from all the way across the field throwin’ a rock free handed.

Mike and Rob were off on one of their regular squirrel hunts, each with their safeties on, and their shotguns slanting to the ground as they’d been taught.  Normally, they’d head out the back pasture behind Robin’s farm.  Today, however, they chose to meander up the dirt road that ran in front of Rob’s house.

Hunting squirrel until each boy had two or three bouncing off each leg, hanging from their belts was the standard goal, but the boys always loved unexpected distractions.  It was no more than 50 yards up the road when the boys ran into a pair of young skunks.

Skunks were not welcome that close to the house.  So the boys figured it was their duty to dispatch them, or at least scare them well enough that they’d know not to come around there again.   The problem with dispatching them was that Rob’s folks frowned on the boys discharging their firearms near their house or, worse, close to one of the neighbors’ houses.  So, scarin’ the pests was the only alternative remaining.

How similar they looked to the very squirrels that the boys prized so much.  Yet, borrowin’ an analogy from W. H. Auden, the difference was like that between lighting and a lighting bug.   Sound similar, but one packs a much bigger punch.

Robin, being the country veteran that he was, knew to hang back a ways.  Mike, being the “city boy” with less sense, pushed forward more aggressively to nobly rid Robin’s family of these pests.

“Yaw! Yaw! Git! Git! Git outta hear! ” Mike shouted at the two skunks that trotted ahead of him.  They sped up a little, but didn’t seem too concerned.

Mike noticed that when he shouted, their tails stood almost straight up as though at attention, but they kept moving.  “Yaw! Yaw! Git outta hear!”  Mike drew nearer and nearer to the one on the left, as Rob fell further behind.

Mike thought he was doing a pretty good job, but then the lead skunk, on the left, closest to Mike, turned and stopped.  Rob seeing that his friend was about to get into a “conversation”  he’d later regret, finally decided it was time to act.  He would just toss a rock at them to spook them away.

Like a bullet cutting through the wind, Mike hear the whiz of Robin’s rock as it zipped past him.  Rob had a problem NOT hitting whatever he was aiming at.

Rob’s rock hit the little guy right between the eyes.  The skunk almost did a flip, fell right over on its back, and in its last living moment gave Mike a gift that kept on giving.  Spray, spray, spray, spray, were its final pulses of revenge.

Then, the poor skunk lay lifeless, at Mike’s feet  …  and Mike was … no longer a welcome hunting partner that day.

Not so uncommon, but entirely true Story from about 1969.

This post was submitted by Mike Strong.

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