Last night I was reading in bed when I heard high-pitched snuffling sounds outside. Damned suspicious. At first I assumed it was a cloud of bats (look it up) sucking the hummingbird feeder dry, but while squinting through the blinds I suddenly saw a large, loping creature on the lawn. It appeared to be 3 feet tall, minimum. Creatures in the mountains can lengthen out like a Slinky (or a cat) at will.
Deciding to approach from a better window’s vantage point, I crept to the living room, opened the blinds, spotted two creatures tumbling over each other in a) orgiastic bliss, b) a fight, or c) both depending on the animal’s mating habits, I did one thing that should never be done under any of those circumstances and turned on the porch light. The tumbling stopped. Two skunks appeared to be staring at me with their butts. Those suckers aimed. And then, as if to stress the point, the little guys walked backwards, tails held aloft, towards the porch. I can take a hint, so I turned off the light on them. Still pretty sure one of them let off a premature puff of stank, though, because I swear I smell something even with all the windows closed. If they were looking at me with their butts, then that stink was as penetrating a gaze as I’ve ever encountered.
PS – I’m pretty okay with the critters, as long as they don’t make a nightly habit of romping (and possibly pomping) in my backyard. As a fun fact, I learned from a science teacher that my university town had the skunk named as its official mammal. We weren’t boastful about it (does any school have a skunk for a mascot?) but I’d see them periodically around campus. As is my custom with just about any wild animal I see wandering about in town, I stare from a distance and name him or her “Walter.”