A Hiss and a Moan

Regrettably, the posts have been sparse…I have been travelling and, not so regrettably, I’ve been at  the cabin watching….

Blithe seagulls ride thermal drafts and sing in their coarse-throated way. They are high into the blue. High enough to blend in, appearing like micro-clots of cloud. Hairy woodpeckers, dizzy from pounding away at a young poplar beside the cabin, take a break in the sun, re-reddening their tiny crowns. Squirrels scold and tease and robins pull worms out from under a mat of leaves, like perfect quilters pulling fat bits of thread through cloth.

skunk200 In the mean time I’m obsessing about ways to move a mother skunk along. She’s taken a home under the shed and I fear she may have young. It’s May so the possibility is there. I’ve considered marking my territory with my own urine, not knowing if this is an offence for her, or if it’s of no consequence, or inviting. Who knows, really, the way of skunks.

I’ve also thrown the rest of the mothballs as far as I could under the shed where her run is. I know about mothballs. They worked a couple of years ago when we had a skunk, perhaps the same one, under the cabin. She moved out in a couple days.

I check back occasionally, rattle some wood planks that rest there, and listen for a response. She’s still there. I hear her grunting. It’s a guttural spastic-larynx effort. Something between a cough a hiss and a moan. I try imitating it but it’s beyond me. I haven’t the cords or the chords, for it.

I envy the skunk. A thoroughly humble and innocent creature, that at the same time understands the world begins and ends with her. And who am I to her? A passing annoyance. Perhaps she pities me. Pities my consciousness, my future and pastness. She has no quarrel with me, it is I who am dictated to, she controls the game. And it’s me who’s reduced to hissing and moaning.


  1. Very poetic, as always, and aren’t we all reduced to hissing and moaning in the presence of those who’ve made sure the world begins and ends with them?

  2. I love skunks, they have such nice fur. Imagine touching healthy unprocessed human hair (hard to find these days). They are so beautiful to look at.

    Also, I must say, I have become fond of their smell, in comparison to the rancid smell of the dairy, porcine and poultry #2 throughout the Fraser Valley and farming communities in the Lower Mainland. Although I cannot say I would feel confident with them living beneath me.

    Here is an interesting little story about someone who encouraged skunks to live elsewhere or cohabitated with them when they did not want to leave.


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