Sunday, May 16, 2010

The skunk's revenge

We had a little problem with a skunk in the henhouse earlier this spring. It started with half-eaten eggs in the lower nest boxes. Then, one night as I entered the coop to collect eggs, I was greeted by the unmistakable black and white of the furry fiend. By the time the sniper reached the henhouse, the smelly critter had retreated to the space beneath the coop. And there he lays. And therein lies my problem.

For weeks the coop stunk to high heaven. It's really hard to walk through a narrow door into a small building when you're constantly reminded of what could greet you around the corner. I'd cautiously scan the interior of the coop with my flashlight before entering and then quickly check the blind corners after stepping in half-way.

After a while, the smell dissipated and my egg collecting returned to normal. Then, last week, the smell returned. I'm not sure if the damp air kept the lingering odor close enough to the ground to make it detectable once again, if there's a new skunk living under the chicken coop or if the skunk's ghost is just out to get me. My uneasiness returned with the smell. But now that I don't need a flashlight anymore to collect eggs, I've become increasingly suspicious of the shadows in the coop. I suppose my torment is the price I pay for turning the skunk in to the sniper, but I've had enough of this skunk's revenge.

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