Jeanette Riffle: Thankful For Skunks

The Free Press WV

I never thought I would be making a statement like that!  We have been seeing a couple of skunks on our property from time to time here lately, and was afraid the dog would spook them and get sprayed, but so far, so good. Well, hubby was mowing on the big tractor one day and noticed a few yellow jackets flying around. He stopped and back tracked to see if he had stirred them up by mowing over their nest as they build their nests down in the ground. To his surprise, he found where a nest had been dug up and everything was gone__ yellow jackets, nest and all. Just a few had escaped. He came in telling me all about it and that he sure was glad to see that. He might have been attacked with bees and stung bad before he could outrun them. These skunks seem tame. We have not gotten a whiff of skunk one time. I better knock on wood but they act like they are used to people. Maybe they have taken up residence under our trailer again, and got used to us coming and going, like the one a few years back. Buddy, our big black lab, was barking at the underpinning out back of our trailer. Duane went out and slid a panel of it back, thinking we had caught a wood rat, and couldn’t believe his eyes. He came inside and told me that I would never guess what was in the live trap under the trailer. I said, “bob cat?”

The Free Press WV

When he told me what it was, I just started pacing the floor. We were getting ready to go on a fall color tour the next day and all I could think of was that we wouldn’t be able to go for the smell on us. Duane rounded up the tree trimmer that is on a log handle. He reached in and slowly dragged the live trap out and down in the woods here beside us. Then, he slowly opened the trap door with it and ran like crazy back to the trailer. The skunk just politely walked out and went on down through the woods away from here. People have since told us that if a skunk gets under your house or a building close by, they are like a pet. They aren’t afraid of you. A woman at church told me one time that she was sitting on a chair out in the yard, stringing beans and a skunk walked right up to her. She shared some beans with it. When we lived in Dearborn Hts. Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, I went in our back yard to hang clothes one morning and I saw the neighbor girl and her friend with a baby skunk, walking along with them, as they were on the sidewalk going to the garage.  I yelled, “Skunk!” The neighbor girl said, “Oh, it came from the pet shop. It’s been de skunked.”  Then later, the girl’s father had it on a leash going down the front side walk. People were driving by, slowing down, and staring all big eyed, like they thought they were seeing things. That was strange.

Until next time, take care and God bless !

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