I thought I was doing a good thing when I tried to get rid of the skunk out of the window well, but, instead, it acted like I was some huge, vicious, nasty dog that was attacking it.
My wife had decided this weekend was the perfect time to do spring cleaning, which meant a) no golf, b) a big honey-do list, and c) the kids would be bored out of their minds. My wife does an amazing job with the house and the yard, and she works, and she takes care of all of us, so when she gets her mind set on spring-cleaning, I try to be as supportive as possible. I tried to prepare the kids. I gave them each a list of simple chores they could do, and when they were done, I presented them with a soccer ball and backyard goal. My wife was happy they did their work, and she was happy they were happy, and she was happy that I was helping her out.
I was in the middle of a particularly grimy job in the garage when my little nine year-old girl came in screaming. Her scream echoed in the nearly empty garage and pierced my ears, but then I finally understood the words she was hurling at me. “Skunk!! Daddy, there’s a skunk in the backyard!”
I rushed out, calling out to the kids that they were to stay far away from it while I assessed the situation and figured out a way to get rid of the skunk. Following my daughter’s directions, I saw the skunk trapped in one of the deep window wells. I cursed myself. Getting window well covers was actually on my honey-do list, and I was putting it off until the next day. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, I told myself.
We get a lot of wild animals around our house, so I had already rigged up a make-shift animal catcher for emergencies. My wife came out of the house, and stopped, eyes wide. “Don’t you dare,” she warned. “That thing’ll spray you, and the smell will get all over the house.”
“Trust me. I know how to get rid of skunks,” I assured her, even though I knew I’d never done it before. I actually managed to slip the leash around the skunk and pulled it free of the window well trap. Thinking I had done my good deed for the day, I expected the skunk to give me a warm look thanking me before trundling off to freedom in the woods. Instead, it bared its sharp teeth at me and growled, as if I had attacked it. When it turned around and prepared to spray, my wife and kids retreated around to the other side of the house, while my wife grumbled something that sounded dangerously like, “I told you so.” Well, some of us learn the hard way, I guess.