Catching Skunks

Me: “I hope the City catches those skunks!”
Katie: “NOOOOO!!! Go skunks Go!”
For a couple of weeks now two skunks have been wandering around the walking paths behind our house and causing a bit of excitement for the neighbourhood.
I was out walking early one morning and had my “early morning brain” on when I came across Skunk #1. Early morning brain is like normal brain, just dumber, so I have no idea how I missed a black and white striped skunk on green grass from eight feet away, but that’s how close I was before I noticed him.
I’m a little ashamed to say that in the context of a walking path in the middle of Airdrie I was a split second deciding whether it was a porcupine or a skunk because I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw. That and “early morning brain”…
He threatened my physically by lifting his tailand psychologically by… being a skunk so I didn’t make eye contact and kept walking like a coward.
My kids were buzzing with the news and so were the neighbourhood kids at the bus stop. “My dog got sprayed by a skunk this morning!!! Well, not directly sprayed but…” Honestly I think the person who was most worked up was my wife. “Skunks are so CUTE!”
I have not and will never think something that odorous is cute except my own daughters in the early years because I’m required by law to say so and fear for my own skin.
I was having a quiet conversation with the neighbour one evening when we noticed my other neighbour moving above his yard purposefully. I can’t quite remember whose handler (wife) mentioned he was setting a plan in motion to “trap a skunk”, but our response was the same…
Me: “What?!”
Neighbour: “What??!!”
Good luck buddy. Good luck.
Never in a million years would I have thought “You know, I should really catch that skunk and release him into the wild”. Skunks are wild and dangerous beasts that only professionals or REALmen go after. This responsibility belongs solely in the “Someone” category.
“Someoneshould really catch that skunk!”
“I can’t believe that someonehasn’t caught that skunk yet!”
Whoeversomeoneis has the worst job description of all time, but all I know is… it AIN’T ME.
Well, he caught a skunk (God bless him!) He YouTubed “how to catch a skunk”, or something insane, and wouldn’t you know.. someone actually posted how to do it! I could live to be a hundred and it would never occur to me to do that. I would watch “How NOT TO GET SPRAYED BY A SKUNK” and “SKUNK-CATCHING FAILS” from the safety of the my odour free office all day, but never how to catch one.
He bought a cage and baited it with tuna in his yard, if I have the story right. Once the skunk overturned the trap and dined for free, and once stuck his little evil paw (not sure what skunk-hands are called..) in and was rewarded with a delicious snack. These were two very clear instances where the cosmos was trying to inform my friend not to mess with skunks and to give up his risky endeavour, but the message was firmly rejected.
He was on his way to work when his wife informed him his cage had a smelly occupant so he came home, loaded it up with his dad, and released him into a new country home free of the inevitable conflict with the human race in the middle of the city (and their children and pets).
This he matter of factly told me in response to my awed “YOU CAUGHT A SKUNK??!!” the other day. I feel like his casual attitude towards getting sprayed makes me feel like less of a man than I already did. “What’s the worse that could happen?” he sneered.
I wouldn’t have the heart to tell him that one very good possibility if I ever actually tried something requiring courage would be to get an eyeful of skunk, sit down in the middle of the yard with my daughters watching from the back windows, and cry like a school girl.
“Mom, is dad not a REAL MAN?”
    “No honey, he’s not. He’s a 2017 man”
“I wonder what it feels like to have a real man for a dad?”
    “Ask the neighbour kids honey”
In conclusion,
Hoorah for real men! Come and save whatever kind of men the rest of us are from small animals!
I was out walking this morning and heard a scary scratching coming from another cage the City has by my walking paths.
I’m still working up the nerve to tell the real man next door…
Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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