One evening maybe two months ago, Jason and I saw a skunk crossing the pasture. It was just about dark, and we might not have seen him if not for that glowing white stripe. Still, it was no big deal because he acted the way skunks are supposed to; he ambled the other way. And we acted like we were supposed to- we locked up the chickens and skedaddled!
We have seen him a couple more times- usually first thing in the morning, right before the sun is up. He has not caused any trouble, and I kind of like skunks. Yes, yes, of course, they can stink, but if you leave them alone, they just go about their business. They're not like raccoons or any weasel cousins. They will kill a chicken, but they mostly don't kill grown ones.. They will steal eggs, but they don't climb for them. I think they can dig in the garden, but I haven't seen any evidence of it. And, if you keep bees, they'll stand right by the little bee door and eat the bees just as fast as the bees will fly out.
Mostly, our skunk seems to keep house for us by cleaning up spilled chicken food or if the children have left something like melon rind in the yard it will disappear by morning. He has been a pretty good neighbor, and we have given him wide berth.
My friend and I were enjoying a bit of knitting and a brownie. Jason was gone (as always seems to happen when a skunk causes trouble). It had gotten dark and she was saying she should start home soon because she cycled here. Suddenly, the room was awash in that special skunk smell that isn't exactly bad- it's just too strong and too pungent and too everything. Nico was at my feet, so I knew Elmer had once again been skunked.
Now, he's locked in the garage. I'll deal with him in the morning and we'll be a bit more careful about letting him out in the evening. I am thinking hopefully that the smell that wafted in the windows will dissipate before I turn in for the night. Oh! to be so lucky!