The Skunkinator

skunk humor, memoriesGot a funny story in your personal history? Share the memory and ask your family to help fill in any details you’ve missed. Here’s one of mine from a few years back. Hope it brings a smile to your face…


The Skunkinator

My son calls me the “Skunkinator.” Several nights ago our cat, Fudge, came in for the night, bearing the residue of a recent close encounter with a skunk. Fed up, next morning I trudged off to the neighbors to borrow a humane live trap. Jack and Martha have lived out here in the country for 25 years and know a thing or two about skunks.


I was about to be schooled.


Thursday night, I carefully set the trap. Friday morning—nothing. I baited the trap again with a delectable half-serving of peanut butter sandwich, complete with homemade jam. Jack had claimed this would work and I was hoping word about my devious plan had not leaked out among the skunk community. Saturday I forgot about it and went out to dinner with my husband on a long overdue date. Sunday morning, while getting ready for church, I looked out the bedroom window to see Fudge sitting by the trap intently watching a black and white something trot around inside. Our other cat, Socks, matches that description so I thought she’d become a little too curious and been nabbed. Looking again, I yelled, “I got a skunk!” and dashed out the front door in my bathrobe.


Shooing the cat away with difficulty I cautiously approached the trap from behind a tree and observed a very nervous, very small skunk corralled inside. At this point I realized something about live traps. They come in different sizes. This one was designed to contain a full-sized skunk, preventing it from lifting its tail and deploying its defensive mechanism. Jack hadn’t mentioned the size issue. My skunk had room to do laps and set up housekeeping.


I retrieved an old rug from the rag box, mentally rehearsing what I knew about skunks. Number one fact being that skunks won’t spray what they can’t see. My delighted children all trooped out to watch the spectacle. Informing them that I would be releasing Missy Skunk up the river, I busily made plans for dropping her off and making it to church, deciding that in the interest of time I would get dressed first. Garbed in my best pantsuit, I did my hair while my husband proceeded to tell me what nice pets skunks make and did I think the neighbors would mind? I was oblivious to the sly grin with which he delivered this bit of information.


My hair still up in rollers, I carefully held the old rug in front of me like some motherly matador in high heels as I tried to approach the trap without upsetting the skunk. It didn’t work. Small spritzes of cologne-like delicacy let me know that was close enough, thank you. In that last mad dash to throw the rug over the trap my nose must have gone into olfactory overload. The odor honestly didn’t seem too bad at the time.


Carrying trap and all at arms’ length, I carefully deposited it in the back of the pickup then headed inside to wash my hands, breezing by my family, who were all ready and groomed for church. They speedily informed me that I “stunk” and needed to change my clothes. Five minutes later I handed the offending duds out the door to my snickering husband, put on old clothes and prepared to finish the job. We drove Missy Skunk five miles up the river and released her in the thick willow breaks, feeling good about ourselves. She left with one parting defensive salute and never looked back.


I sat at the back of the church that morning in a faint cloud, considering that the good Lord who made both skunks and mothers had taught me something about getting carried away with multi-tasking.

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    Karen Ray

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    Phone: 575-323-1048