I Shot the Skunk!

The Night I Shot The Skunk!

Go ahead and turn me into PETA if you must; I freely admit I shot that odoriferous little pest somewhere between his shoulder blades and hip bones. It wasn’t his fault, but I couldn’t shoot my own dog, although it was close between the two of them for awhile.

It was a muggy, warm night in August of 1962 when my Mom and I were awakened by the continuous yapping of our semi-spaniel Charlie, and the fragrant fumes of eau de Skunk drifting in our bedroom windows. There was no help for it. Our faithful protector of the farm yard had found another skunk, and had forced it to move towards our house. In the past, my Dad would have gotten a flashlight and our twenty-two Remington rifle and gone out to slay the evil one. But my Dad had died that spring and now it was up to Mom and me to save our farm from smelling like a long dead corpse.

So Mom in her nightgown, and me in my shortie pajamas with gun and flashlight, went out to save the night. Mom had the flashlight, since she didn’t touch the guns. I had the gun, thankful that Dad had taught me to shoot at a young age. We circled around to the back of the house, and there we found Charlie and Pepe Le Peu going round in circles as fast as they could. Did I mention that the dog wasn’t much bigger than the skunk, and completely black. Mom tried to put the light on the skunk, which didn’t work well, because he was moving very rapidly. I was reluctant to shoot, since it was hard to tell which was skunk and which was dog. The smell was rank and seemed to seep into my pores. Above all, I wanted to go back in the house and take a bath and go back to bed. But there would be no rest for the wicked until murder had been done.

Finally the skunk ran through a partially open door into the storage space under the back porch. He stood still for a moment on top of a pile of boards, and Mom had him right in the middle of the light from the flashlight. I stopped a second, and took a deep breath, and then pulled the trigger. The skunk disappeared from sight. Charlie stopped barking, and Mom and I retreated to the house, after carefully putting Charlie in the basement.

That solved the problem for the night. We decided Charlie would have to spend every night in the basement, whether he wanted to or not. The next morning, I looked for the corpse to bury it somewhere far, far from our house, but even after I looked under the porch, I couldn’t find any sign of him, although the tell-tale smell was rampant. Mom looked later in the day with no better luck, and we decided maybe I had just winged him, and he had woken up later and crawled away to fight another day.

All was well, except for the smell, which got worse instead of better. Several months later, the skunk was found, still under the porch and pretty well desiccated. There was a trench for the drain pipe from the sink behind the stack of boards he had been standing on. The force of the bullet knocked him into the hole and neither Mom or I actually crawled into the storage space far enough to see the hole or the dead skunk.

So there it is! My signed confession. I shot the skunk. It was the only living thing I ever shot with a gun, although once I killed a deer with my 1954 Ford Fairlane, but that’s another story. I didn’t even get him stuffed to put on the mantle.


3 Responses

  1. hilarious about thinking of shooting her own dog for a minute for bringing this stink upon them!

    one minor point, I think you’re missing a space here: “turn me into PETA” – that would be cruel and unusual punishemnt indeed, being turned into an organisation most animal-friendly types have no respect for 🙂

  2. This is another tale from my youth, written for my niece and grandniece. It isn’t fiction, and the reason I almost shot the dog was that I couldn’t see which was dog and which was skunk. All the while my Mom was shouting, “Kill it!” in my ear. My niece was born after I moved to St Louis, and thus missed out on all of my best while I was growing up tales of woe.

  3. Loved the story!
    “So Mom in her nightgown, and me in my shortie pajamas with gun” made me smile.. reminded me of The Night Before Christmas, only different!
    Good shot, by the way… one and done!
    Very charming tale, well told.

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