Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Added Excitement to a Friday Night

Last Friday Aaron and I went to our favorite burger place for a late dinner, and came home around long after dark. We parked our car and started walking up to our door, when we heard a rustling noise in the bush to our right.

"There's something there," Aaron said.

I peeked around the bush and said, "I can see it!" Then the realization of what I was seeing hit me. "It's a skunk!" I screamed, "Run!"

So we ran back to the car, scaring the skunk in the process (we could tell by the smell), and then debated what to do. In the meantime, someone else walked out of the adjacent building.

"There's a skunk, right there!" we warned them. They, too, ran quickly to their car.

Well, the skunk wasn't going anywhere, and we couldn't stay in our car all night, so we decided to chance it. Our building is L-shaped and our door is on one leg of the L, and the skunk was on the sidewalk that runs along the other leg of the L. As we crept along the side of the building, staying as far away from the skunk as possible, a man and his three sons who live in our building came out our door.

"Skunk!" we yelled, because the baby was toddling right for it. The dad ran and grabbed his youngest, while the other two boys said, "Yeah, it's been around. It's either dying or pregnant. We've been throwing rocks at it to get it to go away." (They're such sweet kids, can't you tell?)

As they hurried to get to their car, we hurried into the building. But of course, we couldn't let that be the end of it. We had to watch the skunk to see if it was going to go away, and warn others who might be coming or going that it was there (it was the only nice thing to do since we had already caused it to spray - oops!).

When we got up to our apartment we headed for our balcony to watch it. Soon after the skunk flopped over and started convulsing. I was not happy beforehand that it was there, but now I was starting to feel bad for the poor thing. It was obviously not well. I headed in because I couldn't watch, but Aaron stayed outside watching it for a while, and of course he had to get a picture. We had both realized that we had never before seen a skunk in person, and so he wanted to document the occasion. Here's a link to the picture he took, which is understandably dark and blurry. I wouldn't have gone in for a better picture either.

The skunk was still there when we went to bed, and remained until after we woke up in the morning. A few minutes after we checked to see if it was still there, we heard our maintenance man walking around on the rocks. The skunk was still moving a little (only it's head and paws) but was most likely not a threat any more. We didn't watch to see what he did with it, but when we checked five minutes later it was gone. We were kind of sad, but it definitely needed to be taken care of before people started moving around again.

So that is how you add much excitement to an otherwise slow Friday night.


At 12/20/2006 9:37 AM, Blogger Kelley said...

Your story made me so sad. Poor little convulsing skunk. *sniff* Of course, I've been known to burst into tears over roadkill.

A few years ago, Nick and I found an abandoned baby mole outside our apartment. We saw it in the morning, and then in the evening we took our dog and went back outside to check on it. It had moved, and so we went hunting through the bushes in an attempt to find it. A few minutes later, our dog came running up to us...with the baby mole in her mouth. I was so horrified. (We should have known better than to take the dog outside with us, but it didn't occur to me that my precious baby puppy could be a killer!)

At 12/20/2006 9:46 AM, Anonymous TB said...

I feel bad for the skunk too. What is wrong with me!

At 12/20/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous Vicki said...

You now skunks are known to carry rabies.

Once I went to a ladies house to deliver a sick bird we had found. She took care of wild animals. She had 2 skunks living in her house with her. Like cats. They had the scent pouch removed and used the litter box. beautiful and very soft fur.

At 12/20/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger Sizzle said...

poor dying skunk. :(

that photo is funny. it could be a kangaroo for all we can see! ha ha.

At 12/20/2006 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous nature girl/vet student/wildlife rehabber here:

This post is very sad. It's likely the skunk died from poisoning from your description. They are harmless (except for smell) and behave much like cats when domesticated. Yup. I've taken care of three that had their scent glands removed. They were part of an educational wildlife exhibit for kids. They used a litterbox and were quite affectionate. Sounds like your building management decided to take care of the "danger" and "problem."

At 12/20/2006 12:01 PM, Blogger Marce said...

ohh I feel bad for the skunk as well, I´m just like that when it comes to animals. But it´s good no one got sprayed, because I kinda like human beings as well lol

At 12/21/2006 7:45 AM, Blogger RichM said...

Maybe if you can encourage them to stay around (despite rock-throwing kids), they'll keep away the gun-toting element. Or, better yet, get them to move over there and drive the bad guys out of town - two problems solved!


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