Skunk in the Kitchen
Spring is a wonderful season when you’re a youngster on a farm. The snow is gone, things are turning green, and the warmth from mother nature does amazing things every where. Their is a great transformation. The animals come out of winter hibernation. It’s the time of year for baby animals and the new growth of all the fantastic trees, flowers, grasses, and plants which fill our surroundings. If you live in a region of long hard winters, spring is something truly special. The gifts of spring remain with you forever.
One of my dads brothers, Uncle Jim, came to the house on a nice spring day with a surprise for all of us. He had the surprise in his jacket pocket We eagerly followed him into the kitchen. The hand came out of his jacket pocket and in it was a very small baby skunk. He gently put it on the floor so we could all get close. The skunk was old enough to have it’s eyes open, but was very young. Jim picked it up on the dirt road coming to our farm. The black and white fur was as soft and clean as a baby kittens fur. The little skunk was not the least bit intimidated by the attention it received and was quite at home with us.
Mom soon had a small dish of milk on the floor and the little fellow had no problem accepting the cows milk. The skunk followed us around like a little domestic pet. It loved to be held, coddled, and petted. We frequently took it outside to do it’s duties and it loved being in the house with us. When the skunk wanted to rest it would find refuge behind the wood stove or some other furniture. This skunk stayed with us for several weeks and never gave any hint of what it would smell like as an adult. If you surprised or scared it, however, it would turn tail towards you and take the stance of an adult. We thought it was amusing.
Even adults who came to visit were impressed with our little skunk. All went well until a gathering of adults in our farm house kitchen. There were lots of kids, lots of warmth, and lots of beer. As the evening progressed, several of the adults were showing the effect of the beer. Everyone was having a great time, including our skunk. Uncle Jim took a small saucer plate and poured a few drops of beer in it for the skunk. Not everyone thought it was amusing, but the little skunk liked it. The skunk slurped it up, licked the plate, and Uncle Jim would give him a few more drops. After several servings Uncle Jim was stopped from giving the little skunk any more beer. The skunk went behind the warm kitchen stove and took a nap. The next day when we handled the little skunk, who was considerably bigger than when it arrived at our house, we could get a faint smell from our hands. Within a couple days it became clear that our little pet was maturing into a real skunk. Dad loaded it up, took it to the area of it’s original home, and returned it to the wild. The skunk was a great adventure for our whole family.
As for Uncle Jim, he didn’t mean the little skunk any harm……and it’s doubtful he ever shared another beer with a real skunk.