Daddy and the Skunk

My daddy at 16 driving a team of oxen in an early Apply Festival Parade in Hendersonville, NC circa 1940=41
My daddy at 16 driving a team of oxen in an early Apply Festival Parade in Hendersonville, NC circa 1940=41

Frozen Stiff but Still Full of Stink

I think I must have had the best dad in the whole world. He was quiet and reserved. Daddy was the first son and earned a PHD in life growing up on a farm during the depression years. He knew farming and helped with the chores. Often using a cross cut saw with his older sister whom he affirmed was the best cross cut saw partner he ever had. They cut and hewed cross ties which were hauled to Tuxedo and the Zirconia train station. It was a lot of hard work and days were long with daddy often driving the team of oxen home during hours after the sun had set.

As a young boy daddy like many of the boys who grew up in the Zirconia area enjoyed trapping. I think it was a tradition handed down from family to family. Skins from the trapped animals could be sold in town and even though the prices for raw hides weren't that great, the monies derived went to buy necessary things. I remember daddy telling me this story about a skunk he had caught in one of his traps.

"I'd go check my traps first thing in the morning and one cold January morning I found a big old skunk in one of my traps. The poor thang had died and was frozen stiff as a wood poker. I gently release the skunk, he said, and reset the trap in another spot. I then picked the critter up being careful not to bump his rear end where the canon of foul smelling stuff was still loaded. I knew it could go off and cove me with that awful stuff no amount of mama's lye soap could remove."

Daddy said he carried the skunk home and laid it up in the horse apple tree in the front yard and intended to skin it after breakfast and after it had thawed a bit. He went back outside about 2 hours later and reached to get the skunk. Grabbing it by the hind legs, one slipped out of his hand and all the venomous stink and the revenge of one tormented skunk were immediately sprayed all over him.

Daddy didn't say whether he finished skinning that skunk or not but I'm pretty sure the skunk found lodging in another place. Daddy's clothes were burned and it took lots of baths to rid himself of the skunk smell.

Years later, we had a skunk, one he had caught while coon hunting. Daddy kept it in a wire cage and later it was given away to one of his fellow coon hunters. The skunk stank to high heaven. To our good fortune we never scared the critter enough for it to take defensive actions.

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Comments 14 comments

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

Great story. We had a skunk mishap too when I was a kid but all I can remember was a garage type building always smelling like a skunk and we could never bear to go near it. It's a wonder it doesn't kill people who get sprayed. I know going by one on the highway is enough to cause an accident. Phew!

Polly


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Fiddleman ~ It must be a certain time of year that so many 'skunk' stories have been recently told on Hubpages. Maybe their odor is catching! Blessings, Debby


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

I hadn't seen any skunk stories on hub pages but then maybe it is the season of skunks. thanks for stopping in to read my skunk story. Blessings back at ya!


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Thanks Polly, appreciate your visit to a not so wonderful place of skunkerie. You're right, if you happen on a poor skunk who didn't make it across the interstate, the smell leaves no doubt ong after some turkey vulture has eaten the animal.


diogenes 4 years ago

I always think of the Bob Dillon (was it?) song when I read about skunks. "Stinkin' to high Heaven"

Serves dad right really: live by the trap, stink by the trap!

Good down home tale.

Bob


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

I trapped some when a boy but luckily I have no Odie O Cologne stories of my own.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I never had a skunk, but I too had the best Dad in the world.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Good daddy's are better than skunks anyday!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

This year has been terrible. The dogs have been skunked several times and we have about bought the local store out of tomato juice!


Tams R profile image

Tams R 4 years ago from Missouri

Your poor dad would have loved a few cans of tomato juice to bathe in. I found your story humorous. Even in death the skunk got his revenge.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Brilliant Fiddleman thanks for sharing.

Take care;

Eddy.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I'm sorry for animals that are trapped...but I know it was a way of life back then. Sometimes if a man didn't trap for his family, they didn't eat.

A friend of mine in Canada who owns a farm told me of the many animals that have broken into her chicken coop and killed chickens, the skunk is the daintiest diner. She said she always knows when a skunk is the intruder because she saw one leave the scene once. They always turn the chicken over and eat the breasts. They take the gizzard out and leave it politely to the side. They don't eat any other part of the chicken. Maybe that's just Canadian skunks; I don't know.

Voting up and interesting.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Wonderful story! I didn't write while my dad was alive, I think that is sad. He was born in 1911 and loved to tell stories and believe me, he had plenty to tell. I will have to start trying to remember some of them and jot them down. This was a very good story, I enjoyed it very much! Voted up and interesting! Thank you for sharing it with us. Have a great day!


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Than you sgbrown, My dad was the greatest man I ever knew. He didn't talk much and was a very humble person,yet, his strength was displayed in the integrity of his character.

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