Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Not So Okay Corral...a humorously wild story about wildlife

March 2, 2010

The Not So Okay Corral

Even if I don’t go looking for excitement it comes a lookin’ for me. Case in point is my recent, “When Skunks Go Wild(ly Rabid)” experience.

Yesterday seemed like a normal enough day, what with me spending the budget of a small underdeveloped country on groceries, chasing the dogs around shouting, “Go outside to use the facilities!” and trying to schedule some spontaneity with my husband…until the phone call…duhn, duhn, duhn.

I was in the back of my mansion taking care of some business (translation: I was folding clothes in the back bedroom of my modest home) when I thought I heard the phone ring and the word, “skunk” being spoken by my neighbor during the course of her message. Now we have a great relationship, so I was pretty sure this wasn’t some sort of namecalling beginning volley, so I ran to hear the end of the message. (Okay, you got me on that one. I walked briskly.)

Evidently, there was a sick skunk wandering around my property with its tail up and at the ready, as well as its jaws, and our neighbor wanted to let me know that she was trying to find the appropriate county, state, INTERPOL agency that takes care of this sort of thing. She is a wonderful person who really goes above and beyond neighborly acts of kindness, lemme tell ya.

We met out in front of my estate (translation: we chatted in front of my deck that is the size of a roomy gang plank) to talk about the sick animal she was now viewing through her binoculars. The skunk’s future didn’t look so bright, seemingly destined for Skunk Heaven and Animal Control was on their way.

When the officer showed up to take a look at the animal she determined that a) the animal was suffering b) the animal was rabid and c) I should go inside the house. I determined that a) she was likely to be a good shot b) the animal was not going to be any other homeowner’s problem any time soon and c) I should go inside the house.

Meanwhile, some sort of Wildlife Refuge entity had been contacted as well which, unbeknownst to us, has a polar opposite sort of differing viewpoint about the handling of diseased wildlife than Animal Control. This is according to the animal refuge people, not us OR the Animal Control folks. My neighbor noted this when she was on the phone with the former and the shots heard around the block rang out as the animal savior shouted, “What was that? You didn’t call Animal Control did you? We could have saved that animal!” The succession of four blasts that followed didn’t enhance their communication and I guess the call didn’t end in the most positive of ways.

It took five shots to transition that poor, sick animal into the skunk hereafter, after which the area looked as though we’d had a shoot-out at the Okay Corral, the cordite and animal stench wafting through the air, vying for pungent equality. “What must the neighbors think?” crossed my mind, but we live in amongst wildlife, so it’s not all that unusual to hear gunshots. No one came to inquire about what time the “Neighborhood Watch Target Practice” meeting had started.

The officer bagged and tagged the skunk, advising me that she wouldn’t be taking our mammal lawn ornament with her, as our homeowner’s association would take care of picking up the animal free of charge. The problem was – and isn’t it interesting that I only see a problem at this juncture – that when I called my association I found out they only pick-up deer and it’s not free. Isn’t this some sort of health hazard that someone with more credentials than myself should be dealing with? Some entity like the “Wildlife Safety and Attention to the Details of the Animal Hereafter Association?”

Where before my neighbor had been taking care of everything I assured her it really was my responsibility, particularly now that the animal was secured and sedentary in my Dollar Tree garbage bag. When I called Animal Control I told the officer he would be my new best friend if he would please retrieve this murdered skunk and that I was now feeling a little bit like someone who has been privy to a crime being committed and I just wanted it all to be over, over, over. He said he would send someone over. And I’m still waiting. Over.

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