It was about two-thirty in the morning when I came walking around the corner of the building in the gloom of sparse exterior lighting and a full moon, the waves of Lake Ontario crashing audibly just beyond the tall hedges.
Yet I heard the rustling sound from the shadows and halted to peer at the little animal I assumed would be revealed a rabbit. For they are the most common nocturnal beasts on these grounds. The distance between us was in the bubble range; any farther and it would surely have remained frozen; any closer, it would surely flee. I know their routine. We're all practically on a first-name basis.
It did bolt, but to my shock, not away, but straight at me! And then I saw its true black nature! And the white stripes! I was immediately bathed in a sweet symphony of panic.
I don't - oh I really don't - like skunks.
Immediately I heard myself screaming at it. The words were not of my conscious choosing and are not fit for print. Miraculously it came at once to an abrupt stop, about three and a half feet from me; face to face.
I turned and ran.
I hadn't ran a step in years! I haven't even walked fast in years! Somehow my legs did not break and somehow I did not have a heart attack. I turned to see that the skunk had not followed. I waved my pass at the nearest card reader and stumbled in through the door.
Why on earth did he run straight at me? Did he take me for his mother and then realize his mistake upon hearing my shrieking voice?
I don't mind the rabbits, raccoons, robins, squirrels, foxes or even the occasional coyote. And I don't even mind the red-winged blackbirds when they're not in human-head-pecking attack season. But skunks I cannot abide! Their spray just about makes me vomit. I know they're unlikely to spray but hey - they're supposed to be unlikely to charge you! What would I do if he sprayed me? I would not go back in the school. Or to my home, Or in my car. I guess I would just walk into the lake and sit in it up to my neck and say, oh well, it was a nice life. I shall wait here to die.
Of all the poor creatures; the thousands of species we horrible humans have killed off, why oh why did we not start with skunks and end it there? How did we let them slip through our fingers?
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