Monday, June 6, 2011

Attack of the Killer Skunks

I've always been scared of skunks. For years I had never even seen one, and all I knew about them was if one got you, you had to bathe in tomato juice. I didn't even like tomatoes. And my hair would probably get died red.

Anyway, I've now seen real, live skunks. Three skunks, to be exact. My family went on a walk today, and we saw one. That sighting reminded me of that fateful day, many years ago...

It was a humid summer evening about three years ago, and my sister and I were at my old high school playing soccer on one of the fields. I think I was playing goalie, which isn't something I usually did. But we wanted to practice shooting, so practice we did.

We realized it was getting late, and the sun had slipped unnoticed almost completely beneath the horizon. It was time to go inside. I stood holding my bag, waiting for Katie to get the soccer ball.

Suddenly, I noticed something. I saw what looked like a pair of black shoes in the grass. "Hey," I began. "Hey, Katie. Those soccer cleats. Are they Richie's? Katie, why are the cleats moving?"

I was a bit tired and out of it.

I could hear Katie breathing behind me. "Those aren't cleats."

I suddenly realized what the moving "cleats" really were: a mommy and baby skunk.

Mommy and baby. What if they felt threatened!? We were doomed for sure! We were only ten feet away! I had read somewhere that when a skunk stands on its front feet, it means it's about to spray you with its putrid stink. I froze, staring, bidding the creature not to start doing any kind of acrobatics.

Have you ever seen Jurassic Park? Well, there's this one scene where Dr. Grant, the paleontologist and dinosaur expert, runs into a T-Rex with some of the people he's traveling with. "Just DON'T MOVE," he says, explaining that dinosaurs see much better when things move. Dr. Grant turns around to see that everyone has run away, completely ignoring his wise instructions. He runs, too.

Katie grabbed my arm, lowering her voice to a whisper. "Don't move. No sudden movements."

I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I took one more look at mommy skunk and her black and white fur, and that was enough for me. I jerked sideways and sprinted away as fast as I could.

I could hear Katie exclaiming in surprise behind me, but she followed close at my heels. She was not pleased. She said something to the effect of: "Whatever happened to NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS?!"

Long and short of it is, no skunks did any handstands, and no one had to bathe in tomato juice.

And I decided to work on my sprint.

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