Box o’skunks

baxterclare Baxter's Blog & News 1 Comment

I’m usually pretty heartless at work. I let nature take it’s course. But I saw these little guys six days ago outside their den. Their blue eyes had just opened and I assumed that like naughty kittens everywhere they were exploring their world while mama was off foraging. They were five of them, feisty and running around, tails high. One stamped it’s feet at me (first warning) and lifted it’s tail but not knowing to turn around it sprayed it’s siblings instead.  Off they all scampered into their den!

I didn’t have time to check on them Thursday and was off Friday and the weekend. When I drove by Monday morning two were lying dead outside the den and three were huddled in the entrance. One of those looked dead so I put the other the two in my truck with the heat on “high”. I finished my rounds while I debated what to do. The two on the floor of the cab looked like they were almost about to join their dead litter mates so I put them back with my usual thought to let nature take them as she intended.

I guess she had other plans. I came back to the den later that morning planning to relocate the little bodies to a place where they might at least get scavenged. I picked up the two outside the burrow. They were cold and rigored. When I picked up the three kittens in the entrance they mewled and squirmed.

“Ah, Jesus,” I said.

I couldn’t walk away a third time. I put them in the truck, cranked the heat up again, and dripped warm water into them while waiting for the local animal rescue group to claim them.

Like I said, I’m usually pretty cold about leaving wild animals to their fate. But I’d seen these babies on Wednesday and laughed at their toddler antics. I had a relationship with these little guys. I couldn’t leave them again. Our fates had intersected. Theirs, apparently, was to be rescued, and mine to rescue. I don’t know if they lived or not. I won’t call to find out. It was enough just getting them to the next stage of their journey.

I’m in the throes of publishing my first e-book and keep trying to walk away from the process. I want to abandon it, leave it, ignore it. But I have a relationship with it. Our paths have intersected.When I saw the three live kittens I simultaneously felt hope and fear. Hope for all the possibilities inherent in being alive and fear of all those possibilities, too. Yesterday hope trumped fear. And now, after I post this, I’ll get on with the business of publishing, of getting my baby  on to the next stage of its journey. In doing that, at least for a little while, hope will again win out over fear.


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