Monday, March 16, 2009

Ah, Spring.. the Sounds of the Birds, the Sight of ... a Skunk

Nothing serious- went looking for a rake in the barn across the road and heard the telltale scuffle of M. Mouffette. Such an innocent, delightful sounding word in French. Mouffette, pantoufle, petite boule de fluff. The English word is so strong and stinky... S..K..U..N..K. Not a delicate vowel to be heard. It hisses and clunks and ends with a thunk.
The rake wasn't there. It must be in the parallel universe reserved for errant garden tools that the Farmer claims not to have seen. It's the same universe that wayward newly washed socks inhabit- the ones that left the bedroom IN the laundry hamper, went into the machine and were never seen again.
I left M. Mouffette alone.
I had been wondering just what had happened to the skunks that used to live under the garden shed that used to be the dog house that used to be the chicken coop where the Farmer's father lived for a short while as he waited for this house to become vacant, some 50+ years ago. They would come and visit my tent in the backyard in summer if I had any food inside.
The backyard has been flooded, twice, this year, connecting to the river that ran from the back field that connected to the pond created by the overflow at the catch basin that was being filled by the overflow from the small field near where the new barn is going to go ( that I'd hoped would be a tennis court or a swimming pool) that made our tar paper house a metaphorical castle surrounded by a moat. Me, its royal inhabitant, a princess in her palace, and Prince Charming... but I digress.
When the backyard flooded, the water was up to the floor of the garden shed, so any skunks there would have been flushed out.
Which brings us to this evening. It has been a long sunny spring yard cleanup day. The cats have been out, the windows and doors open, just a crack and just for a few moments. The shop door has been open, and therein lay a problem.
Diego spends the nights in the shop ( and THAT is a whole other story). He comes when he's called, demands his cuddles, bats my shins if we don't cuddle enough, then settles down for the evening. We've got the routine down.
I called Diego. He came. We went to the shop. I turned the light on and we made our way to his food and water bowl.
We came upon M. Mouffette, sipping from the water bowl.
The good news is that the sound and sight of the skunk did NOT lead to the smell. M. Mouffette remains in the shop, Diego will have to deal with the outside for a night- and we'll start over again tomorrow.
Sometimes on the Gravel Road, you just let well enough alone. Nothing serious. It's just a parallel universe.

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