Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Down on the Farm: Sometimes Life Stinks

 There I was, sixth grade, having quite the successful elementary school experience, when IT happened.  My family had some chickens, (once again, it all starts with chickens -[for more eggs-asperating stories from my life that might cause a cackle, click HERE or HERE].) 

Some pesky varmint was breaking into the chicken coop at nights and by morning, where once sat a hen, only a pile of feathers remained.

My Dad suspected a raccoon or a skunk.  Both of these pests were common in Rush Valley where I grew up.  A .22 rifle stood by the sliding glass door in our kitchen ready to be grabbed if the intruder was spotted.

One night, I had finished doing my homework at the kitchen table, loaded my backpack for school the next day, laid it by the sliding glass door, hung my jacket beside it and went to bed.

That night, Mom and Dad hadn't yet turned in when they heard the chickens making a ruckus.  Dad grabbed the gun and ended up shooting a skunk.

For those not familiar with skunks, when one is shot, it releases its scent glands.  Luckily, Dad was not in range of the spray.

When I got up in the morning, I heard the story of the night before which explained the slight skunk smell that could be detected in the house.  When it was time to catch the bus, you could definitely smell what remained of that skunk outside, but the scent didn't seem all that strong.  It turns out that I was wrong.

In the hour it took me to get to school on the bus, the skunk smell grew.  I guess with my backpack and jacket sitting by the window, the smell had just gradually permeated them throughout the night.  In addition to my bag and coat, my hair was giving off the same stink.  The strange thing was, even though my brother and sister walked through the same air as me to go down to the bus, it was only my hair that had soaked up that stench and become saturated with the unpleasant odor.

Because we lived a half hour away from the school, (which seemed like a bigger deal then than it does now,) my Mom couldn't come and pick me up. I was on my own.

I ended up stashing my coat and backpack behind the bushes of one of the school's outbuildings for the day.  The school librarian was kind enough to take me to her house across town and wash my hair.  Even though she washed it several times with a couple different shampoos, that stubborn smell refused to leave completely.  We decided it was tolerable and I spent the rest of the school day with an invisible aura of skunk smell following me around.

Since that time, it's as if me and skunks have this strange connection.  Just as Spiderman has his spider sense, I have this strong sense where I can detect a skunk from miles away.  I'm not sure that a keen sense of smell can be considered a super power or not.  If so, I have it.

If anyone can think what good this power may be, (besides the obvious of beating anyone to the changing table when my little one needs a clean diaper,) please let me know.  

1 comment:

  1. Not tips...but I am following. Love the pics...I loved our trips to Utah, AZ, WY, Montana. Co. Not sure where you are but it looks really nice! Hoping to hit 100 followers today!

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