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Some Days Stink! My Encounters with a Skunk.

Updated on August 21, 2011

Nature Does Warn Us Sometimes, Skunk!

Skunks, look cutem they are intelligent but it is not a good idea to get on the wrong end of a Skunk's defense mechanism. (Picture shows Striped Skunk)
Skunks, look cutem they are intelligent but it is not a good idea to get on the wrong end of a Skunk's defense mechanism. (Picture shows Striped Skunk) | Source

You Probably Know the Rest of the Day or Weekend will Stink When ...

My first encounters with skunks were not too bad, I was being driven through the woods of Tennessee. My friend was taking me to visit Fort Donelson. When the aroma filled the car.

"Smell that?" she asked. "That's a skunk somewhere."

There was an odour not unlike the brewing of strong coffee mixed with new tyres and burned matches.

"So that is skunk? It's not that bad." I replied.

Oh pity me! Poor tourist from England. Pity me in my innocence.

My first major encounter came when my dog, Polly (The German Shepherd you see in my avater, ran from the house suddenly into the yard, barking. The odour was almost instant, foul, gut wrenching and painful. My sinuses burned and it was almost impossible to breathe.

So that was skunk! Now I realized my innocence. Now I really knew what Americans meant when they talked so harshly about those cute little critters. They really did have a powerful effect. After that encounter The house I was living in never quite smelled the same. Though I washed Polly, the merest hint of humidity in the air seem to surround her with that skunk odour for weeks.

I read what information I could to prevent it ever happening again. Oh, innocent fool I am. It is not a question of if, Is it? It is just a question of How long before the next time?

Shine a Light

 One article I read about deterring skunks told me to shine a light outside. I have happily done that for almost five years now. As darkness approaches, I go to the back door of the house and turn on three floodlights. Being nocturnal the skunk is supposed to avoid the light. It keeps the birds awake in the mulberry and orange trees too! Quite often they happily chirp until the early hours. Keeping me awake often as I type my hubs. But the lights do keep away the skunks.

Oh sweet innocence.

Skunks Don't Read Articles!

 Last Friday, June 3, was warm and breezy. I opened the house in the afternoon to let the air pass through. It was nice to just enjoy a California June day, when for once the temperatures were not hitting the high nineties or one hundred degrees.

About 8pm I went to the back door, turned on the lights and went to sit on the front porch and listen to my Kindle book. The breezes grew stronger but were nice and warm. It was an almost perfect end to a week of work and a respite before climbing into bed.

By 9:30 pm I was ready to go to bed. Walking through the house all was quiet, out of habit I stepped out of the back door. I had always done this for Polly so she had known to come in. The breezes brushed my cheek. Then it hit.

The burning was instantaneous, every nerve in my sinusses screamed, my lungs screamed, my guts wrenched. Burning matches! Burning tyres! Burning coffee!

The skunk I had just walked out upon, had obviously not read the same article as I had.


 That moment was awful. I staggered back into the house.

Worst thing possible of course. The smell covers everything is seconds. You don't need to touch a thing, the stinking odour just is all pervasive. It clings, it burns, it is.

I made my way to the front of the house. My wife advising as I went. "Don't touch!" "Get out of HERE!" "Don't go through there!" I made my way into the garage, the smell rapidly filling the space. To levels which made my wife wretch. I had to undress, removing the stinking clothes I put them into the washer with extra soap. Walked naked, barefoot and stinking to the bathroom and climbed into the shower. Lathering on the soap by handfuls, the stink was never ending. on my skin, in my hair and in my lungs.

Even now, over thirty hours later, the skunk smell is on my skin. I have washed in normal soap and even oil remover. There is still a whiff of skunk when I move.

The clothes I was wearing might well be ruined. They too have gone through several wash cycles and smell even worse.

We went to Fresno yesterday, to Home Depot and bought de-odorizer, maybe that will save the furniture and possibly my clothes.

The Funny Thing is ...

 Last weekend my wife and I were at one of her friends parties. Another friend is visiting California with her Scottish husband. My wife was telling her friends husband about Polly's skunk encounter. Of course after five years that encounter is now funny and almost folklore.

The husband said he had never smelled skunk. Asking in his innocence, "What's it smell like?"

Yesterday, it was my wife's job to pick them up in Fresno and take them to the airport.

He definitely has an idea what skunk smells like today.

Like me he is no longer innocent as to the power of that little black and white critter which ambles through the American night. Making life stink for some of us on occasion.


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    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 6 years ago from California USA

      Hello kittythedreamer, thank you for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked the hub, thanks for your comment.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      Voted up and funny! What a lighthearted and chuckle-worthy hub. Great job bringing a much-needed smile to my face.

    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 6 years ago from California USA

      Oh! Sharyn, I can sympathize with the dog situation. Nothing quite so friendly as a wet or freshly skunked dog. LOL

      Well, can I say that I was volunteered a bed on the porch till about 2 am then I was allowed to move to the sun room at the back of the house, which was already very pungent with skunk.

      Thanks for your comments. I enjoy reading them.

      All the best.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Oh Bret,

      Awful and funny too! I've had the pleasure of having a dog skunked twice, same dog. He didn't learn the first time.

      I had no idea he was skunked when I opened the sliding door to let him in one night. He came running through the yard and up the deck steps straight into the house. He ran through every room as I screamed and choked. It was horrible. I feel for you.

      Ummm, did you wife make you sleep outside?


    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 6 years ago from California USA

      Hello Daffy, Here I am, it is Monday morning and I will go to work in a couple of hours. I still detect 'Eau d' Skunk' in the air, not sure if it is me or just the house after a near full day of de-skunking yesterday. You do have to look for the funny side though. Thanks for taking time to comment. All the best.

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 6 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      Oh that's funny man. :-)