Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 33

Once outside, I realized that as Kathryn suspected, one baby was trapped inside. But the others—my pulse quickened, my knees trembled—swarmed all over the trap, sniffing, chirping, clawing at the wire mesh. My only option was to slide the metal door open and free the little guy without delay. Easy enough with a red squirrel in full sunlight, but skunk extraction in dim light under the watchful eyes of mother and siblings could be dicey. The challenge was to remove baby without any chance of misguided chemical retaliation from an anxious Mom. The solution was simple: figure out a way to lure the family away, then while they were otherwise occupied, release Junior from Have-A-Heart Jail. I asked Kathryn to spread peanut butter on a handful of crackers. Being careful not to make any sudden moves, I arranged the pile of skunk-attractors on a spruce stump some distance away. Once the bait was in place, they abandoned the imprisoned one and dashed to the stump. I crept back to baby, dropped to my knees. But when skunk family heard me fiddling with the metal door, they returned en masse. They didn’t just sit on their haunches and watch me struggle with the hasp, they gyrated around my ankles, climbed over my legs, nibbled my pants, nosed my hands and arms. Heart pounding, knowing Kathryn would never tire of retelling this story if my plan went south, I pressed on, managed to snap open the doo "&'VVBWBB֖G7BV66'rBW&W&r&VVB2f֖ǒ&VƖWfVBF7FW&6vF6VBFVFV66W2BW6vRƖ62&Vr6&VgVBFR6RV6VBFv&BFRW6Rऒv2bvFFRFV6vVגvfR6VB( Ŗ^( fRvB6( Ф7FVBVBFvFRVF&Rf֖ǒv2BגfVWBFW6VBגW2'V&&VBv7BגBVw266FVB&6Bf'FfW"ג6W2v2FPVBW"b6V2BFW&FVBRvVBFW7F6vFPf&WfW"ƖRGV62FBvF&B&VFW7v&VB&VBגW2VF&V6VBFRFV6FV66W&VB&6FFR7&6W'2fWr֖WFW2FW"FW"BVrG&gFVBFFRf&W7BvRWfW"6rFW"&FFrF6b6V2gFVFbFV'fV@30