A sighting


Photo by Kitty Terwolbeck: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittysfotos/

Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen. ~Suzy Kassem

When my Saluki, Grey, fixates on a creature outside, his growl is terrifying. To keep him from ruining the front window with his nails, I sometimes have to pull him back to draw the shades. When you touch him in this state, you can feel the rumble in his fur. It’s primal, and sometimes I think he’s going to whip around and bite me.

It’s been a quiet spring, but I’ve been seeing more starlings than usual. Though I have to check again, I think they are trying to make their nests in the neighbor’s Eucalyptus, where the wrens were last season.

There used to be a season for everything. You could count on when the finches show up at your feeder, and October was always skunk month. You couldn’t walk outside late at night or at sunrise without getting a good whiff. I learned to check for the scent the hard way, when my Greyhounds were skunked not once, but twice. It’s a different smell than the roadkill smell — it permeates your sinus and there’s no escape, for weeks.

I was feeling uninspired, staring out at the sycamore, and thinking how still everything felt. I could just make out the planes over the airport, turning into moving stars as it got darker. And this is still a game I play at night with the window open — plane or star?

And there it was. A skunk. In April. Yeah yeah, I know they live year round somewhere.

It was beautiful. I saw him leave my neighbor’s yard, disappear behind a car, then walk across the street toward us. It might have heard that I was leaving out peanuts, was my guess.

Grey rumbled. I had to close the drapes, but then I snuck out the back door to see if I could still see the skunk. I got on my tip toes and peered over the fence, but he was gone, not even a whiff.



2 thoughts on “A sighting

  1. A great description, and, I know the skunk you are referring to in our neighborhood. I was walking my dog late in the evening, saw the skunk ahead of us on the sidewalk mossing along without a care in the world. Fearful that it would sense us near, I held my distance to see it disappear into another yard. I was thankful it was unaware of our presence and did not spray. I did worry about it’s well-being for days. I never detected a smell at anytime; relieved that it was most likely safe somewhere else.

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