Monday, November 17, 2008, 3:02 PM
I had a most pleasant weekend off - the first in a very long time - and spent some of it pondering an unusual recent event.
We are raising turkeys, five very large, gorgeous bronze birds. Last Thursday they started making their alarm sounds, meaning that something was not right. Rushing out, I saw that "Skunky McGee", our ancient resident neighborhood skunk, was in their pen toodling around. He's nearly all white, we know his habits quite well, and his appearance at 9:30 in the morning was a bit late for him to be out and about.
It took me far too many beats to realize he wasn't toodling around looking for errant food scraps, he was chasing our turkeys in an unbalanced, tippy version of the skunk waddle. As I stared in wonder, he caught one, and began, well, chewing on it. You see, skunks are not usually predators of anything larger than a lawn grub, so he was incapable of really doing much more than begin a long process of gnawing. He started near the tail.
It was at this time that the word finally popped in my head: "rabies".
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