How I wish that the above title had the qualifier "Saturday Poetry:" in front of it. But it doesn't, which means that what I am about to tell you has no redeeming literary value, that there are no inherent metaphors, no larger lessons to be learned.
I have a problematic relationship with animals -- those I babysit, those I eat, those I share a homestead with. On my watch dogs and/or cats have died, gotten pregnant, become incontinent, and showed signs of severe neglect. I've had fish burn to a crisp in my oven, baby possums walk into my kitchen, and now I am resigned to living atop of a skunk family.
This is not Pepé Le Pew and the missus I'm living with, folks. These skunks burrowed in last year having realized that they'd found digs underneath my office, a 12' x 16' heated "cabin", not to mention that Mr. Softee next door puts tons of food out for the feral cats and so there you have it -- luxury digs and a 5-star eatery one yard over. They hit the jackpot these skunks did, and now the female is in heat, the feral cats are getting on her nerves and about every other day, if I'm in my office long enough I hear the hiss-thunk-hiss of an interspecies battle to the death, count to 10 and then wait for that first whiff of mad skunk as it evaporates its way upward. The office stinks. I stink and b'leve me when I tell you that the stink sticks.
Cuthbert, lover of all things gun, has been sighting the skunks from our bedroom window which faces the back yard. Only problem is that he's not certain the scope is set right, and I've told him not to do anything fancy, especially, particularly if I'm in the office, because godknows where the bullet will end up. Even if he hits the skunks from 20 feet (a nice little trig problem), if he wounds and doesn't kill, well, imagine what the skunks will do. So, then he decides to move the .22 down to the kitchen, and stand behind the curtains like he's in a skunk blind and wait for the little bastards to head out to Le Kibble, and then shoot them. But, I suspect they just hauled a SubZero into their burrow and neither Cuthbert nor I have seen them make a noctunral trip lately. So, that plans on hold. Them someone else said, er, you should bait some fishline with meat and follow where they take it and then what?, put foam insulation or boiling water in the burrow? Yeah, that sounds like fun -- as they drown or boil they spray like hell and then decompose underneath my office, and the next thing I know the UN Commission on Genocide is knocking on my door. So, that plan's a non-starter. It's time, we realized, to call in some pros. The conversation will go something like this:
Cuthbert: We need 2 skunks trapped before Valentine's Day which is when She Skunk starts to breed.
Skunk Trapper: No problem.
Me: Oh! Do you release them in the wild so that they can live happily ever after?
Skunk Trapper: Whatever you want, ma'am.
Cuthbert and Skunk Trapper exchange the whatevah look men exchange with each other whenever there is the opportunity to kill something. A contract is signed. I stipulate that it be done when I'm gone. And as soon as these tenants are removed I'm putting barbed wire around my office.
Other than that, life's great. Et toi?