Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Isaac Kills a Skunk!

When we first returned to the farm, we were told that since skunks are nocturnal animals, seeing a skunk in the daytime is an indication that it could be sick, and further, that rabid skunks are commonly found in the area.  Since then, a skunk in our yard in the daytime is about to be a dead skunk.

In general, I enjoy sharing our farm with wildlife, with the exception of moles and gophers! I'm not happy when deer eat our young trees or when mice seem to prefer houses and barns for their winter lodging, and coming upon a snake unexpectedly makes me jump.  Barn swallows are messy, but they eat a lot of mosquitoes, and it breaks my heart to see a coyote chasing a fawn.  Yet, in most cases we tolerate the other residents of our farm in exchange for the delight they give us.

Perhaps I saw Bambi  too many times and fell in love with Blossom, or maybe it was the charming Pepe' Le Pew in Looney Tunes that gave me such a soft spot in my heart for skunks.  I actually think they are beautiful.  Unfortunately, their odor isn't, nor is the risk of rabies.

Isaac Werner had no soft spot for skunks.  They were a danger to his chickens, and in one instance when a skunk managed to get inside his hen house he killed it with a hammer.  (Isaac never mentioned owning a gun in his 480 page journal, nor was a gun mentioned in the extensive inventory of his estate, although the details did include his toothbrushes!  Apparently he did not own a gun.)

One evening, when he had worked late helping a neighbor put the roof on his dugout, he returned home to find a "family" of skunks in his house.  He wrote that he disposed of them quickly, but he didn't mention what he used to do that, and I can only imagine how his house smelled when he finished!

Whatever Isaac used, he must have been close enough to have risked a bite by the skunks.  I don't know if rabies were a problem for the settlers, but I do know that a skunk that showed up at Isaac's farm was about to be a dead skunk too!   

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