Thursday, September 02, 2010

We have a skunk...maybe 10,000

Some people get snakes in their backyard, some have moose giving birth, we get a skunk. I had seen it a couple of times after dark walking up our driveway going towards the backyard. I even had a near miss with it, when I thought I was locked out of the house and John and kids were on the way home. Thankfully (and oops), I had left one door open. Later, I was bringing out the recycling to the street when I saw it sneak around to the back. If I had had to stay outside waiting for them to arrive.....yikes! I left the recycling on the porch and stayed inside!

Anna has her own Pepe Le Pew sighting story. On Monday evening John and I were sitting on the deck, finishing dinner and chatting with one of John's fellow instructors who lives around the corner from us. Anna had been tooling around the backyard and she came over and told me that she had seen the skunk. I sort of dismissed it, as it hadn't gotten dark yet, and these guys are nocturnal.

A couple of nights later she was narrating her story again to me as she got ready for bed. This time I asked more questions. She explained to me what it looked like, stripes, tail and all. She told me there was a hole it went into behind our neighbor's detached garage where she often goes to hide, explore, or dig. I guess she's not the only one digging. She told me the hole was "like when you dig a hole at the beach, on the shore, so the water goes in and makes a pool." Finally, I asked her if she looked in the hole. "mm hmm." And I asked her how many skunks were in there. "Well, I saw the one go in the hole. So there was one....but maybe 10,000 in the hole?" Whoa! The story was pretty believable until that last estimation.

Yesterday we were out in the backyard after lunch. She asked if I wanted to see the hole. So we went over. Sure enough! There's a hole (like the kind you dig at the beach), and other signs around the hole that would lead one to believe it is inhabited. Yes, I even Googled "skunk scat". Gross, I know, but I had to gather my evidence. We concluded that, indeed, there is a skunk, and Anna probably did see one that evening. Problem is, this hole is technically on our neighbor's property, so we are at their mercy to do something about it. John talked to the man last night. We hope they find a solution soon! No one around here wants to get skunked! It's our newest phobia. I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, if you're bored, Google, "how to get rid of a skunk." There are some pretty funny suggestions. And, I guess I'm not as confident in Anna's counting progress as I had been. If there are 10,000 skunks in there, we have big problems!