Thursday, May 15, 2008

Polecat Predicament

When you set a trap for a nuisance critter, you better be prepared for what happens if you actually catch something.

I bought a couple of live-catch traps at the local feed store to see if I could catch the varmint--suspected to be an armadillo--that had been digging up my back yard. I placed them out in the middle of the back yard, and after no action for a few days moved one of them back onto our back porch. I neglected to take the bait out and disarm it.

This afternoon I stepped out back to refill the bird feeder, and detected a whiff of something at the opposite end of the scent spectrum from a bar of Irish Spring. A quick glance at the trap confirmed via my optic nerve what my olfactory sense was hinting at. There was a skunk in the trap. There was a skunk in the trap, on my back porch. There was a skunk in the trap on my back porch, right next to my back door.

Luckily, Pepe hadn't le pewed yet. But, I didn't know how I was going to free the little bugger without getting sprayed in the process. I reckoned that I would gently move the trap off the back porch and as far away from the house as possible--if I could. I changed into some clothes I wouldn't mind burning, grabbed an old towel and eased up to the trap. I draped the towel slowly over the trap, gingerly picked it up by its handle and headed for the back forty--expecting to get perfumed at any moment.

There was no explosive emanation forthcoming. I set the trap down, put on a pair of gloves to protect against a bite, opened the door of the trap, locked it in place and stepped away expecting our unwanted guest to leave at his earliest convenience. Instead of departing the premises, the little stinker backed further into the cage and tripped the trigger springing the door closed again with a clang. I sucked in a deep breath and went into my sprinter's crouch, certain I could outrun stink molecule propagation should the skunk be startled into fumigation. Pepe sat calmly curled up against the back of the trap. I eased the trap over on its side and locked the door open again so that he wouldn't step on the trigger if and when he decided to leave.

At dark this evening the skunk was still crouched in the trap. Hope he'll make good his escape under cover of darkness. If not, I'll have to call in the Skunk Whisperer--Miss Brenda.
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