Thursday, December 11, 2014

An Open Letter to a Skunk

Dear Mr. Skunk,

First, I would like to apologize for the circumstances of our meeting a few nights back. You see, I didn’t expect to run into anyone when I was taking out my garbage, to say nothing of finding someone hiding behind my trash receptacle. I feel I surprised you as well. The noise you made sounded like a surprised one, at least.

Now that we have been properly acquainted, however, I must ask you to stop digging.

You seem keen on dotting my backyard with small holes — sometimes dozens in a single night. They are small and shallow, none of them big enough to fit a golf ball. I do not understand why you do this, but please understand that your hobby is making a mess of my yard. There is dirt where I do not want dirt. You have uprooted plants. For what, I ask?

What are you looking for?

What do you think you’ve buried just an inch below the soil surface?

Why do you think these lost articles are hidden beneath my groundcover?

Why do you hate my groundcover?

Why are you bad at hiding things?

Are you attempting to bury something and then rethinking the proposition moments later, only to start another abortive burial several inches to the side?

Why do you return to the same spot to dig up a hole that you have dug — and I have un-dug — just days later? Do you think the contents of the earth will change that much in such a short time?

At the very least, do something practical with the hole, please. When the neighborhood cats dig holes in my yard, they do so for the purposes of shitting. I do not condone this — and, in fact, they have suffered reprisals for their instance on doing this — but at least I understand why they’re doing it. There’s nothing in your holes. No shit to speak of. I’m not saying “Shit in a hole or stop digging,” but at least I could relate to that logic, you know?

Whatever your motivation, this must end. I’ve researched online measures I could take to deter you, but I don’t think either of us want it to come to this.

You have a floofy tail that reminds me of my border collie. I want to like you, but you’re not making it easy.

Happy holidays. Please stop.

Drew Mackie

Previous coverage of the “Shit that happens in my backyard” beat:

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