Since moving to the farm a couple weeks ago, Adam and I have enjoyed several firsts…
We did our first load of laundry after hooking up our washing machine to our well outside.
Sorry, I’m done now.
Then, a few days ago, Adam shot a Water Moccasin (a poisonous snake). The snake was still barely alive, and I took pity on it, so I grabbed a shovel and attempted to sever the snake’s head, guillotine-style. However, the shovel was too dull, and all I succeeded in doing was to drive the snake and the shovel into the ground. The snake’s body was still above the grass and the tail flew up in the air, resembling one of those windsock figures flailing around in front of a car dealership. Adam finished the job, and I scooped up the pieces and tossed them in the pasture for the coyotes.
It only took one week of living on the farm before we had our first run in with a skunk.
I was standing on the porch, enjoying a cup of Jet Fuel – a super strong brand of coffee I can only find online. Maverick, my chocolate lab, and Bam, my black lab, had just finished eating breakfast and were enjoying their routine post-meal bowel movement. That’s when I saw it. Out in the distance, a puffy little black animal with a white stripe and a bushy white tail frolicked across the grass.
A goddamn skunk!
My adrenaline surged. I shouted to Maverick to come back in the house. But it was too late. She had already noticed the interloper and her interest was piqued. She ran toward the skunk.
I turned to go inside to grab a gun, but then I realized I had no idea what I was doing and I might end up shooting our dogs instead.
There was a split second when I thought I should grab my iPhone and start recording this. Then I thought Adam would be really angry if he thought I stood there recording a video instead of doing something to stop it.
Instead, I simply watched, frozen in terror, as the skunk reared its tail toward Maverick, and Maverick recoiled twice as the spray hit her in the face and mouth. The spray only served to excite Maverick even more, and she started jumping around the skunk. By now, Bam had caught up to the two and joined the fray.
Suddenly, the skunk decided she’d had enough of this shit, and it was time to go on the offensive. The next thing I knew, the skunk was CHASING the dogs.
“No! NO NO NO!” I screamed at them both. “Don’t come over here!” The skunk darted past them and took refuge under my Honda Fit. The dogs circled the car and the skunk continued to spray them from the undercarriage.
I stood. I watched. I was helpless.
I opened the barn door and managed to get the dogs inside. The skunk was still under the car, pissed. I was certain she was planning her next move.
Meanwhile, Maverick looked like Al Pacino in the final scene of Scarface, when he dives face first into a pile of cocaine. She had white powdery spray all over her face, and she was gagging and drooling. To combat the discomfort, she ran around the barn, wiping her face on every surface she could find with friction – a rug, the barn doors, our couch…
By this time, I was on the phone with Adam and my father-in-law, trying to figure out what to do next. I was in shock.
Adam told me to get the dog kennels out of their stored location above the ceiling over the storage area, and put the dogs in their kennels in the stables.
I had to climb a ladder at least 10 feet in the air, and once I was up there, I realized there was no way to get the kennels down without losing my balance on the ladder.
Then I had an idea.
I had just received two new clotheslines that I ordered on Amazon. I could use these to lower the kennels gently to the ground. I wrapped the clothesline around my waist, tied it to the kennel, and slowly lowered the first one to the ground. Then I did the same with the second kennel. Meanwhile, my dogs circled the ladder, crying because they were traumatized by the skunk encounter as well as the fact that their human was now dangling 10 feet above them.
Once I got the dogs in their kennels, I went inside. By now, the smell had permeated everything. It was in my clothes, my hair, my skin – everywhere.
I had no choice but to shower. But when the water started hitting me, it seemed as though the scent was re-invigorated. It was getting worse! How was it getting worse?! I was afraid to even blow dry my hair for fear I would warm up the skunk odor and make it worse. Instead I doused myself in the only thing I know to be more pungent than skunk spray – Burberry Brit.
As I drove in to work, I started processing everything that had happened. And I realized I was proud of myself.
Not once did I give up. I didn’t cry or get upset. I problem-solved. I didn’t let the skunk win.
I am the Queen of Jonesburg.
I can do this!
But then I got to work and the first person I ran into said she could smell me.