Something in the Air – I

Ten years ago I was granted an educational leave (sabbatical). I enrolled in a French immersion program in northern New Brunswick. It was about a three and a half hour drive to get home so I only made the trip on the weekends.

One Friday in mid September I noticed the tell-tale signs that a skunk was digging for grubs in the front lawn. There were a large number of divots turned up. I took the time to kick them back in place and hoped that that was the end of it.

The following weekend there were as many, if not more, divots to be replaced.

And again the next weekend. And he seemed to be working his way around the house.

That Saturday afternoon I was chatting with my next-door neighbour. He lived in this area his entire life. He was retired and an avid hunter and fisherman. He took a lot of pride in his property.

He asked, “Hey, is there a skunk tearing up your lawn?”

I said, “As a matter of fact, yes. He’s been at it for several weeks now.”

He’s digging up my lawn too. One of these night I am going to catch him in the act. Let’s see if I can convince him to stop.”

The next day I left home and headed back up north. My wife would be managing affairs for the next 5 days.

That Wednesday night brought a cool, refreshing breeze from the west. It was one of those nights for which you would throw on an extra blanket but keep the window open. On nights like that you always seemed to sleep so well.

It was after 10 PM and my wife had gone to bed. She was just drifting off to sleep when she heard a rather loud bang that sounded like a gun blast. She was suddenly very awake and wondering what was going on – it sounded so close. A few moments later the pungent smell of skunk came wafting through the bedroom window. She knew exactly what had happened. So much for enjoying that fresh wind blowing from the west. She closed the window. It took her a while to get back to sleep.

When I arrived home a few days later the faint smell of skunk was still noticeable in the bedroom. But the divot problem was solved.

I wonder if the grubs were greener on the other side of the fence.

Follow for stories every Wednesday and Friday. 


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