On Thursday evening, I was doing a Mutual Awakening practice online with a woman in Vancouver. All was mellow. And then … a God-awful banging started downstairs. Peace evaporated. My heart revved up. Home invasion? Beam collapse? Or an animal?
I returned to my friend, with visions of a raccoon roaming through my family room. After we said goodbye, I headed down, resisting the urge to grab a blunt object. And there, rapping on a basement window, was an all-in-motion white and black furry thing. A skunk, trapped in the window well. He or she was ripping apart the screen but I didn’t care about that.
Two parallel thoughts came my way:
1. They’re going to die in there. Claws won’t do much good on four feet of vertical metal.
2. They’re really going to stink up the house.
I felt momentarily guilty about my smell worry but then I reasoned that human beings sometimes obsess about dreaded futures. I’m a human being so it all works out fine.
As I laid myself down to sleep, the imagined scenario switched to Bruce trying to get furry one out of the window well and getting sprayed in the process. Halfway through the night, there was still the banging and scratching.
On Friday morning, I girded my loins, grabbed a stepladder and tippy-toed towards the window well. Such a hero! I peeked over the edge … and the only thing down there was a plastic bag. Impossible! Was I dealing with Super Skunk? Looking more closely, that bag seemed to be full of something. I went back into the garage and emerged with a long-handled cultivating tool. I nudged the bag – and it moved! A slight rip showed something black-and-white beneath. I wedged the ladder against the well and headed off to embrace the day.
Late yesterday afternoon, I drove into the driveway. Another timid peek showed the same full bag. And then I remembered – skunks are nocturnal. Reason soon faded away, however, as I imagined my friend dying alone. I fretted through the evening until engaging joyfully with a friend on the telephone. Then to bed. A half hour later, the banging and scratching resumed. I confess an impatience with the gorgeous-looking animal. “Haven’t you seen a ladder before? It’s your way out, your road to freedom, your release from the prison of life.”
I slept fitfully, partially because of an early morning wakeup for a church breakfast, and also due to the furry one.
6:55 am. No sounds. Clothes on. Outside. Peeking number three.
Mr. Skunk was gone
I’m so happy that my companion didn’t die. He’s no doubt out there in the woods with his friends and family. And I’m more than a little pleased that I didn’t have to zoom off to the grocery store for a year’s supply of tomato juice.
On to the next ridiculous adventure …