Close Encounters

We live on the edge of town, not quite in the full-blown country but close enough to see feral cats, dumped dogs, hissing possums, semi-evil coyotes, silent owls, nasty buzzards, large turtles, random snakes, awkward armadillos and other critters on a regular basis. Every night toward the far side of ten o’clock, Daisy the Dog and I venture outside for her last ‘hurry up’. (Years ago, a good friend told me to call the dog’s business a hurry up rather than a s#!t as it sounds much more genteel to yell at the dog to ‘hurry up’ rather than ‘go take a s#!t’.)

Last night under a half-moon nearly obscured by hurricane-induced clouds, we followed our regular routine.  Upon approaching the prescribed area, Daisy was distracted by rustling in a nearby bush.  I heard it, too, thinking it was the neighbor’s cat come for a late night visit.  Daisy, forgetting her original purpose, ambled toward the bush and leaned in close.  I neared the bush as well to pet the cat and remind Daisy to hurry up. 

The moon slipped out from behind a cloud and the darkness peeled away a bit.  Just enough for me to see that Daisy and I were peering at the business end of a skunk from about three feet away.  While I have taken a direct hit from a skunk many moons ago, Daisy hadn’t.  I made the executive decision that she didn’t need the experience and I didn’t want to repeat it.  I grabbed at the dog’s tail to distract her as I was backpedaling from the skunk’s tail.  Apparently, the skunk had mercy on us or just failed to fire.

We hurried up and hurried back inside none the worse for wear. However, I will take a flashlight with me tonight.

image credit: San Diego Zoo


In her bullet journal she is chronicling her extended leave from school, friends, and the world in general due to the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, it has been only a couple months of quarantine at home, though I wonder what her journal will contain six months from now. So far, she has been doing her online schoolwork in a dutiful fashion and, knowing her, will continue to do so until the regular school term is over. But I wonder what will happen if regular school doesn’t start up in the fall which will be her senior year in high school? What will she write about then? How will she cope with quarantine then or the changes that coronavirus has made in the world? Gen Z of which she is a part already has an entirely different take on society and its mores than her current ancestors – parents and grandparents. While we are quarantined together as a family without much tangible loss other than socialization with others, we are not seventeen. She is. We will never know the full effects that such a mass social quarantine will have on one’s psyche and perspective in the long run.

image credit: Mario Azzi on