Never bite a skunk's trunk

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to see wildlife wandering around the country roads. When this happened, we just turned around and walked away slowly, giving the animal a chance to find its way back into the woods.

But on one particular morning, my friends and I were mesmerized while - when waiting for the bus - a skunk appeared, with an empty soup can stuck on his head.

Someones parents called "animal control" and within minutes people came out to "help" the skunk as us kids watched the action, now from the safety of the school bus.

"It was just a tranquilizer gun," said our parents. And we believed them, until we became older and wiser, at which time we mused... why didn't they wait until the damn bus pulled away?!

This potentially scarring childhood memory (we were in kindergarten - what were the adults thinking?), along with a recent roadkill sighting and the strong smell of Tim Horton's coffee inspired my latest blog post. It's not as depressing as my lead up would suggest, although our deceased dog Bodie does makes an appearance. Rest in peace old guy.


When I married Geoff, his dog was part of the package.

A 100-pound, purebred malamute with a stubborn but intensely sweet temperament, Bodie was true to his breed and always on the hunt. The prey itself was of little concern - a mosquito, a fly, a dog biscuit – all were equally exciting conquests.

Not to say that he was incapable of more significant captures…

I still remember the time he (while still a puppy) zipped stealthily across the yard and scooped up a gray squirrel in his mouth. My mom immediately screamed at him to “let it go, let it go!” The rest of us stared in disbelief, as Bodie obliged and carefully set the stunned rodent down on the grass. I swear I saw that little bugger check to make sure all his parts were intact before he bolted up a tree – chattering the entire time.

Then there was the porcupine. In that case, no one was immediately present, telling him to “let it go, let it go!” and the end result was four separate surgeries to remove more than 250 quills.

With this, we thought he had surely learned a valuable lesson – never bite a wild animal in the rear end – but alas, he was a dog.

We had just re-tiled our kitchen and decided to put off sealing the grout until morning. It was closing in on 11pm when we let Bodie out one more time before bed. By the time we saw the flash of black and white, it was too late… Bodie’s head was drenched. 

Animal Planet
Skunk stench is like no other scent. It’s rather indescribable really.

“Holy Mother of God, what is that smell!?!”

By this time the house was fully awake, as Geoff, my parents and I jumped around like boxers first towards then away from Bodie, taking turns dabbing the oily odor from his face with paper towels. Meanwhile, Geoff jumped in the car to get tomato juice from the gas station before they closed. It was a reasonable decision.

What happened next was not so well thought out.

Rather than pull the smell further into the house, it was decided that the kitchen was the best place to administer the antidote. By the time Geoff was finished dousing Bodie with 6 cans of tomato juice, our kitchen floor looked like a crime scene involving a blind, chainsaw-wielding monkey.

After the tomato massacre was over, the sulfur smell was tolerable (though not nearly eliminated) and our white and silver coated masculine malamute was pink… for weeks.

I've always thought skunks were kind of cute. This no doubt stems from watching Pepe Le Pew on television with my dad during my childhood. Even so, it never crossed my mind to create art inspired by the little stinkers. However, the thought has occurred to some...

Michael Devost makes decorative mailboxes. I wonder how the postman feels about sticking the mail, y'know, there.
Laurie from Florida makes lamp worked beads. She likes skunks, I can tell. "This is one sweet and chunky little skunky" is how she describes this tiny fellow.
This skunk pin is appealing to me because hey, there's glitter involved. It's creator (lisart29) says that it would brighten up any hat or outfit and you know, she's right! Nothing says fashionista like... skunk accessory.
Should I be disturbed by this costume created by BeastWares - Purveyors of Furry Finery? After all, I'm just a rural girl. My neighbors never dress up as woodland creatures (or, do they?).
And finally, Jeanie from Arizona (aka DarkHorseStore) has a dark sense of humor. Case in point, this ceramic spoon rest:

"This little skunk did not make it across the road! Despite his calamity, he still looks cute and will definitely liven up your kitchen, bath, desk, most anywhere you want. And the best part - no skunk smell!"

Hey, at least he is dishwasher safe.
No, really.

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