Thwarted by a skunk

What a beautiful morning.  For once, Murphy, my hubbie‘s dog, and I were able walk early.  Normally, we haven’t gotten to start until well after 7:00 AM.  Today, we were walking by 6:30.  We changed our routine, and we caught the area fauna by surprise. 

Within the first half mile, Murphy was romping in the trees alongside the ditch, hot on the trail of some mesmerizing scent.  I let him be, knowing he’d catch up with me after he investigated.  It wasn’t until I looked back to the road that I noticed this majestic doe.  It froze in the golden light of early morning, standing in the long grass, waiting to see if I was a threat. 

Now, what you don’t know is that Murphy, even though he is over ten years old, he still thinks he can keep up with a deer, a rabbit, or whatever.  If it moves, he’s chasing it.  I wasn’t in the mood to have the dumb dog streaking over the countryside, only to overdo it and come limping back.  So, I waved my arms wildly, hoping to scare the deer.  It worked.  The doe shot off quietly into the trees, never alerting Murphy visually to her presence.  Well, except for its scent, which of course Murphy had to investigate.  But he wasn’t running after it, so it was a win in my book. 

We got to the intersection of the gravel roads and my favorite prairie trail.  I was looking forward to seeing the different play of light along its path, listening to my play list of relaxing music.  I was thwarted by a waddling, black and white fluffy body.  Yes, a skunk.  Crap.  That’s all I needed.  I hurriedly called out to Murphy, who luckily was checking out the tall grass on the road that ran perpendicular to the prairie trail.  Unfortunately, that also alerted the menace to our presence, and it turned to face us, its tail bushing out into a fuzzy, dangerous fan behind it.  At least it wasn’t pointing that part at us. 

By now, Murphy was aware of our furry “friend,” and for several seconds I wondered if my day was going to be spent washing the dog with tomato juice.  But Murphy isn’t dumb.  Once he saw that it was, he came to me when I called.  Guess he learned from a stinky encounter he had earlier this spring. 

Still, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of being on my trail in that wonderful lighting.  Once the skunk scurried off into the woods, we’d be able to finish our walk.  Right?  Wrong.

You’d think a wild animal would hide itself as quick as possible.  Not this skunk.  The damn thing continued right down the prairie trail track like he owned it. 

Sigh.

Murphy and I decided to cut our losses and head back home, our walk cut in half.  I didn’t want to take any more chances with whatever creatures were returning home from their nighttime adventures.  Today, with our luck, we’d meet up with a badger.

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