As you may know from reading my posts, the Crankee Yankee (my husband) and I have fed “our” skunks for years. They live under the shed in the back yard, and they regularly eat the cat kibble we put out for them (and the neighborhood cats and raccoons) under our porch. Each summer, we see the new young ones toddle over to eat, and they are adorable.
This evening we had a little one get hopelessly lost under the porch where the Crankee Yankee is doing a lot of excavating (i.e., that means he in the process of replacing the garage foundation, so there is a miniature Grand Canyon down there). The baby had run down the steep side and kept turning the wrong way and getting more lost and more frightened as he tried to get out. The Crankee Yankee, bless him, snuck downstairs and slipped a plank down near the little one, risking a skunk shower. But the little skunk just panicked and kept going the wrong way. We tossed some kitty kibble down to him, and he crunched it up, still going everywhere but the right way out. All he needed to do was to reverse direction and he would be home free. We watched over him for a while, and hoped he could get out on his own.
When he heard us, he instinctively backed up and lifted his tiny tail in defense; as little as he was, he was ready to fight the only way he knew how. So we left him to follow the kibble trail and find his way out. After about 20 minutes, I checked in on him to see how he was doing. Not only had he gotten out, but his mama was with him, and he stuck to her side like a burr. Together they searched for more kibble, and all was well in the skunk family.
This incident made me think: aren’t we sometimes a bit like this little turned-around skunk? We get lost on our way, get turned around and try like mad to get back on track. Sometimes we stubbornly keep going the wrong way, thinking that sooner or later, we’ll get where we need to go. Even when someone puts down a trail of kibble in front of us, leading us the right way, we think, ‘oh no, it can’t be that easy; I’ll just keep going the wrong way.’ So we struggle on, sure that we can do it all on our own. Sometimes we get out on our own, and sometimes we get stuck.
But sometimes if we’re lucky, “Mama” comes to get us and lead us home.