Alan has found a new challenge to his manhood - a skunk in the garden. Make that two skunks in the garden. That he knows of, anyway. He says he's noticed for awhile now that some little varmint (the words have been softened to protect the reader) has been eating his new corn. He's been assuming it was a racoon. Whatever the little varmint(s) is/are, it's not polite when eating corn. It doesn't just pick an ear and eat it or take it home and share with the kinfolk. It knocks a whole stalk down and then nibbles off each ear on the stalk. Last Sunday morning Alan walked out into the garden to pick some corn and stumbled across a large, well-fed skunk.
Slowly he backed his way out of the garden and came in to get his 22 (that's a skunk gun, evidently). Of course, the skunk was nowhere to be found when he got back to ground zero. So, on the way back up to bring me home from camping, he stopped at Scott and Amber's and borrowed Scott's trap. Scott trapped six or seven skunks this spring, so Alan picked his brain for ideas on how to catch this skunk. Evidently the skunk likes the corn better than the bait Alan put in the trap because corn stalks were still being toppled. One morning he goes out and finds the can of tuna fish bait has been pulled out of the trap and through the garden and is now lying under one of the peach trees - licked clean. The trap isn't tripped. If you're gonna have a skunk in your garden, it might as well be smart, clever and agile!
That night I was riding my exercise bike when Alan came around the corner. Why I didn't grab my camera, I will never understand. He had his headlight flashlight strapped to his head (of course), his large lantern-type flashlight in one hand and his skunk gun in the other hand. In a very redneck voice, he announced, "I'm gonna hunt me a skunk!" I about fell off my bike I was laughing so hard. Needless to say, a little while later he came back in without a trophy, but he didn't stink, either. Kind of reminds me of "Children of the Corn" only it's a skunk family that lives in the corn field and eventually they will devour the whole world - one corn farmer at a time. I'm not really sure Alan knows what he's going to do if and when he does catch 'his skunk'. However, this time a couple of neighbors saw the skunk, too, so he is enlisting other vigilantes. Later that night he hears a gunshot. None of the neighbors admit to shooting anything, though, so we're not sure what happened or by whom.
The garden is still under attack. A couple of nights later, he is giddy with excitement because he and one of his fellow vigilantes are going on a skunk hunt. He almost didn't make it through supper, he was so excited. I asked him if we shouldn't start a bonfire (after getting a burn permit, of course) and if there wasn't some kind of dance or chant we could perform, but he declined any help I had to offer in this area. Once again he garbed up. This time he actually dressed up for the occassion, though, which I also thought was kind of funny.
Well, the outcome to this hunt was the same as the others and the skunk hunters were skunked again. He really should have danced around the bonfire and called out to all the local skunk spirits. Didn't Kevin Costner see his wolf or a buffalo shortly after dancing around his bonfire? If it works in the movies . . . okay, never mind.
However, he called me at work this morning - ooh, just looked at the time, I guess he called me at work yesterday morning - and proudly announced there was a skunk in the trap. Just a little one, though, not his 'big' one. (Almost sounds like one of his fish stories, huh?) He hasn't seen the big one since the night he heard the gunshot. After sharing his trapped-skunk news with me, he left town to go watch Joe's kids for a little bit and now he's hiking and camping with the scouts and I'm the one with the skunk in the trap. Was this in the fine print under "For better or worse"? I'm amazed at how much got fit under there! However, I'm thinking this falls more under the 'HIS' jobs and 'HER' jobs section. And this 'HER' ain't going near the skunk!
After Nellie got Carter home from his dad's tonight (yipee), he was concerned about what should be done with the skunk. Tyler and Layne came over to play for a bit and Tyler and Carter couldn't get their minds off the skunk in the trap. Alan has the trap in a cardboard box (one of Scott's suggestions) so the skunk is not easily visible. These boys and their imaginations, though. One minute they're sure the skunk is dead. The next minute one of them saw him move. Then one of them is saying the cage was shaking violently and they're sure the skunk is getting out. I went out to see what they were doing at one point and they came running up to me, both shouting at the same time, "We're making big plans for that skunk and we're going to need lots of flashlights, lots of guns and lots of tomato juice!" At least they were being realistic enough to plan for the worst!!
Well, the saga may or may not continue. Only time - and felled corn stalks - will tell.