Just as I discovered on December 23, 2007, that my modest wife did not fully and accurately recount the activities of that frightful Sunday morning, I have learned that her repost of her skunk tale, just a couple weeks ago, has again been told with somewhat less than all of the facts. Jen deserves far more credit than she attributes to herself. The post below was my innagural blog post, on that same December day, and I am adding it here for all to achieve the entire perspective. I hope that all who read appreciate my little local "Annie Oakley;" she is definitely famous at the Health Department here (maybe infamous). Anyway, I am very proud of her!
When Jen first called me at church, I had to temper my desire to laugh hilariously until I was sure that she wasn't going to get bit by the rabid skunk. Church is a great place to be at a time like this, but I chose not to march into the sanctuary to call everyone to prayer. However, since I was working the Toddler Nursery I realized I had a responsibility to let the head usher know the potential of me having to gather my family rapidly and run home to save the day. Of course, in recounting what I had learned of the situation from Jen, thus far, I was not tempered in telling the story and kept laughing long after he had returned to his many other duties. But I prayed softly and kept the faith that my family would be safe. In the interim between phone updates from Jen, I relived two flashbacks from my childhood.
The first, as my extended family can attest to this day, was this unquenchable courage that I had to hunt skunks, while I was growing up, when we were camping. I was convinced, and let my strategy be known to all, that if you could sneak up behind a skunk, grab him by the tail before he could lift it, that you would not get sprayed and could get rid of the pesty varmint. Although I'm sure I was told again and again that my idea had no merit and to not try it, I can remember many times that I snuck away from the campfire to go hunt the little Pepe Le Pews. I guess my saving grace was that I never ran across a rabid skunk as my Great Flannel Hunter wife did today.
This leads me to flashback number two, and more germane to the title and inspiration of my first blog. In 1973, I was nine years old and we were camping in Letchworth State Park, in New York State. This place was rife with raccoons and skunks and they had no compunction to enter the confines of our camp site and even to sneak into our family dining room tent. We were still camping in a Nimrod tent trailer that had survived the roaming bears of Yellowstone, the wild cats of Old Man's Cave, Ohio, as well as a variety of many other pesty camping buddies in a myriad of camping locations. This one evening, we awoke to the yelling of a man, very near our camp site, even sounding so close that he could be right outside of our camper. My "little sister" (in size not age) and I looked out of the screened flap windows to see a "Great White Hunter," who happened to be our dad in a white t-shirt and undershort briefs, chasing a raccoon with his golf club, who was attempting to open our cooler. My dad never truly bagged his game, either, as we both resigned our hunting passions to a more seasoned life of coexistence with natures camping predators.
How could we have known that his future daughter-in-law and my wife, would vindicate our failed attempts to protect our family, so many years before? Now, I've read my wife's blog and I think she has been rather modest regarding the skill that she exhibited during today's hunt. First of all, she has the tenacity like that of a barracuda, if it is reasonable to use a fish metaphor for a ground kill. Below is a map that depicts the path that my wife used on our land to stalk the skunk and to prevent him from escaping.
Although Jen doesn't put any stock in the old hunter adage "one shot - one kill," one cannot challenge the overall effectiveness of her efforts, when you consider the end means versus the means to an end. I am proud of her! I have been waiting patiently for her to allow Gabriel and me to begin hunting so that our family could be eating leaner, more healthy meat, and now that the starting gate has opened who knows where it will lead? Also, I've looked forward to lining our family room wall with the taxidermy prize of our hunting efforts, but I could never have foretold that the first showcase would be the one that is pictured below.
The race has begun! To the victor comes the spoils. May the best spouse win!