It was Valentine’s Day, ten PM. The blinds were down. Thumping came from beside the house. Squeaking ensued. Definitely an animal noise. I turned. Outside lights detected motion and lit the area.
I pulled the blinds up. The squeaking came from a skunk, our skunk, as we call her. Haven’t formally named her yet but we know her by her tail, which looks like a well-used white toilet brush.
Furious squeaking kept going. She was jumping and darting briskly around. I zipped into the other room to bring my wife to the spectacle. Not much was on television and I’d just finished reading my book.
“What’s she doing?” my wife asked.
“I think she’s fighting with something.”
“I think she has a mouse.”
The skunk jumped back, leaped to one side, and twirled. “I don’t see a mouse. I think she’s fighting with something else.”
Our skunk turned and rushed away. There was no mouse. As we stood to consider what we’ve seen, another skunk darted out from under the house. Bigger than our skunk, I’d seen ‘him’ before. “Look.” I pointed him out. “I think she was fighting him. They sometimes fight.”
My wife was nodding. “Yes. I read that females will reject males and sometimes spray them in a defensive action.”
“So he came a-callin’…”
“And she said, no thank you.” The skunk disappeared. The lights went off. My wife turned away. “I think she doesn’t want him because she’s in love with Boo.” Boo is our big black cat with a single white star on his chest.
I remained doubtful. I began lowering the blind. The light appeared. ‘He’ appeared. He looked up at me.
I nodded down at him. “Tough luck, brother. Can you go somewhere else?”
He scurried off into the night. The light went off. I finished lowering the blind on the theater and began wondering what I was going to watch on the telly.
Live theater is so much better.