My Shelly and I are still arguing about skunks. For those of you that actually know us, you know it's not pretty. When I met Shelly, (OH) so many years ago, she described herself as being easy going and laid back. She lied. I don't hold it against her. She really does think she is easy going. Maybe it's the "change" that's effecting her. If it is, she would never admit it. She's still in denial. She will probably be that way until she's finished dragging me though her hormonal roller coaster. I'm not sure if she believes that she's exempt from menopause or if she thinks it's just a myth altogether. I'm okay with it, with the help of horrid once monthly injections I've already bounced down that road. So by when it's time for me to trudge through it again I will have lots of experience. However, I was talking about skunks. We have a skunk problem. Every year we have a different kind of animal problem. We've had summers where bears were the issue and one season where a mountain lion made the back yard his personal buffet. We've learned to live with it, after all I'm still the newcomer to the neighborhood. I'm still frustrated and annoyed by the family of stinkers.
The darn varmints have killed 100 cockerels that were meant for the dinner table. I'm doing what I can to return the favor but my Shelly keeps hindering my attempts to off the creatures. I think she secretly wishes to bring them in the house so they can snuggle with the cats. I've already had a vet friend offer to descent them. I didn't tell Shelly.
The other afternoon, I'm carefully collecting eggs in one of the coops. I've got my attention honed in on the red roo. Just two days before the red roo (who doesn't have a name and won't live long enough to get one) met me at the door of the coop. He didn't offer a friendly greeting. I still have a large bruise on my right leg and a couple of welts from his spurs. So I didn't notice that two scoundrels had already weaseled their way into the coop for an early dinner. One of them was helping itself to an egg and the other scampered into a feed box. I hastily made my exit and yelled at Shelly. She walked home (rather slowly) and returned with a rifle and my .22 pistol. I informed her that the skunks were now both in the bottom of the feed box. I reported that they made no attempt to retreat and that I think we could just pop them both in the box.
Holy outburst Batman! I wasn't suggesting that we catch them and strangle them or something illogical. We had two skunks that were contained and two guns. Shelly insisted that if we shot at them, it would have to be well away from the coops as she wasn't having any smell in the coops. Humpf! Call me crazy but I wasn't going to shoosh them out of the feed box with my shovel.
From the vast expanse that is Shelly's brain came a solution to the problem. It was at this exact moment that I thought to myself, "Sometimes I should just do what I want to do and deal with the wrath of Shelly later." I really should have acted on that thought. Shelly instructed me to spray the skunks with a hose and when they made their escape from the coop she'd follow them for the appropriate distance and then shoot them. So I did as she said, even though I was grumbling about it under my breath the whole time.
As soon as one made it's appearance from the box, Shelly ran up the hill yelling, "I see it, I see it."
I, on the other hand am in the coop with not one but two skunks who are getting annoyed at having to have a shower with the chickens, and the red roo running around in the background fluffing up his collar. As soon as I shut the hose off, the skunk retreated back to the box. I yelled at Shelly to come back. I asked her not to run away, as we playing by her rules and I was the one that would end up getting the worst of the deal anyhow. So round two commenced. After 45 seconds of water torture, one skunk made it's way out of the box, under the dividing fence into the turkey coop and then slithered out a small space between the gate and the fence. I sounded the alarm to Shelly who watched the skunk scamper under some bushes right outside the coop.
I shut the water off and exited the coop. Shelly was again up the hill. I politely in a very pleasant tone asked her what she was doing. Shelly explained that it went under the bush and that she didn't kill it because it wasn't far enough away from the coop. I told Shelly that I was going to drown the bush and asked, politely again, if she would come back down the hill. She came down the hill and waited for me to flush out the critter. The rat came out of the bush and I saw Shelly raise her rifle. I waited for the gun to pop, but no sound came. The skunk ran down the hill into a foundation of an old building that is used as our recycle pile. The skunk was gone.
I asked why she didn't shoot. She said she couldn't get a visual through her scope. Oh my! I offer my gun, politely and respectfully of course. She grumbles and accepts the pistol. I remind her that it does have a safety and ask if she needs any instruction about the firearm. She leers at me and tells me she knows how to use it. So back the coop we go for round three.
I flush out the skunk, it worms it's way out of the coop and heads for the same bush. I scream (respectfully) at Shelly to kill it. She raises the gun, pulls the hammer back and I hear a click. By now the skunk is under the bush again. I asked Shelly what happened and she mumbles something about the pistol being half loaded. I take the gun and inspect it. I show her that it is fully loaded and again remind her about he safety. I go and retrieve her rifle which is laying on a pallet to the right of the bush that is now harboring the skunk.
Shelly has a short spaz attack about me getting so close to the bush. I ignore her pseudo seizure and get the rifle. I stash the rifle alongside the opposite side of the coop and once again turn the hose on. The skunk appears and Shelly takes aim. Once again I hear a click followed by a curse word. Shelly tries again with the same results, different curse word. I drop the hose and grab the gun from my beautiful girlfriend. I flip the safety, pull the hammer and as I'm running after the dratted creature fire four shots in rapid succession. Shelly is wailing something in the background but I choose to zone in on the skunk. I pull the hammer back again and fire twice more. I top the hill just in time to see its tail slide under a concrete block and out of site. UGH!
I make my way back to the coop and see Shelly making her way back to the cabin. As I catch up to her, she starts explaining, in a very cranky voice I might add, that I told her the safety was off. We argue about it on the walk home.
I have decided that Shelly is too soft of heart to kill the skunks. It is my professional opinion that Shelly has an animal problem and deep down she wants to cuddle one of the skunks. She's wants to hug it and squeeze it and call it Pepe.