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Survival Story of A Seventh Skunk
Fear. That’s a word I know. Cars, lights, dogs, cats, traps; humans. That’s another word I know. Humans are mysterious, dangerous, and deadly. There only goal in life is to eliminate every skunk in Willow Grove Forest. In other words the world. Hello- excuse me for not introducing myself earlier- my name is Seno Skunk the Seventh. Everyone in my clan who is male is named Seno and then what ever number is next. Mostly we were called by our number. I am called Seno. Seven is not a good number. That was the way I was told to introduce myself when I was younger so I could make new friends. It did not help me much. I was always lonely and friendless. My life is- no was- a misery. It was so melancholy, that I felt like when my life was being put together somebody lost the main ingredient. Adventure. That was how my life was dreary and boring. Until now. Until a very certain day when a little boy wandered by.
I was outside my clan’s lair playing with my little brother the Eighth. I have three brothers, the Fifth the Sixth and the Eighth. The Fifth and Sixth are twins and have moved away long ago. We (my little brother and I) were doing races. I was losing. I always lost. Then all of a sudden I heard a crash and looked up. Through the morning mist I saw the outline of a miniature giant coming toward us. FUMP, FUMP, BOOM, STEP, CRASH! The eighth seeing the giant used his enviable reflexes and sprinted toward the lair. He turned his head and called for me.
“Seno, come on it’ll eat you!”
But I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed with, with… what’s the word… DANGER! I think I knew the moment I heard the giants shake the ground and trample the fallen branches, the main ingredient in my life had been found.
I must have looked foolish, my tiny head bobbing with the breeze on my shoulders. My sleek black and white fur shining from the suns beams. The sun was beginning to peek into the sky.
“Hello little skunk”
The giant bent down and whispered. I could see now he was a little human boy with glistening green eyes. He hesitated then put his hand out for me to climb onto. He smiled tentatively. His arm was like a long branch we skunks would use to get over ponds and puddles. I had been warned about humans. Especially one human. One very dangerous human. The Hunter. He would hunt harmless little rabbits (though they gossip about skunks much too much) and eat them for breakfast. He also hunts skunks. That’s how I lost grandpa Seno, to the treacherous man. This may be a trick I thought desperately. I turned my head, my neck creaked. The Hunter could be in the bushes trying to take me out for dinner. His dinner. I had a bad feeling I was going to be the appetizer; (skunks are quite thin and don’t make good main dishes, it rather interesting actually). I tried to think of a good enough excuse to get away from the little human but could not. He looked ever so harmless. I treaded up his arm. He smiled an even wider smile. Then he lifted his arm to be even with his face. I closed my eyes waiting for the net to wrap around me, to be boiled and sizzled into skunk stew. But it never came. Instead I felt warm soft fingers brushing my head, taking the scum and what not off my fur. Then chaos abruptly interrupted my peaceful moment.
“Put the vermin down boy!”
A voice boomed out of the shadows. The little humans face was suddenly contorted with terror.
He breathed urgently to me. I did. I ran as fast as my four little legs could go. The eighth would have been proud. I was going so fast. Everything was a blur. I could hear the Hunters foot steps rattling behind me. He was gaining on me. He was getting closer by the second. I could not keep up like this. My tiny little heart was beating the speed of light, in another second it would burst through my chest. Then everything was black.
I awoke with a sore feeling in my bottom. I looked around me. I knew right away where I was. The Hunters shack. No animal had ever escaped alive. I didn’t think I was going to be the first. Another glance around made me realize I was in a deep and dingy cage. I sighed. It was not a sigh of tranquility. It was a sigh of fear. The word that kept on coming back to me. I would never escape. I would be skunk stew in no time. But you must have gotten quite bored with me moaning about my personal problems, I will get back to the story now if that’s really what you want (humph). I realized the Hunter had probably shot me down with a sleeping bullet during the chase. I was a prisoner. But somehow I didn’t feel any different then I had before. It was then at that moment when I realized that I had always been a prisoner. A prisoner of fear. (Now don’t complain and listen to me drone on, I find listening to people complain quite interesting, let me correct myself it is interesting if they are not complaining about you!) I was always afraid. I did not have any friends because I was too afraid to talk to any of the other young skunks. I was not good at running because I was too afraid to practice, scared that the other young skunks would laugh and point their grimy paws at me. Today was the worst. Today I was afraid to go on the little humans arm. If I had just gotten on faster we would have gone somewhere else and the Hunter never would have caught us. Fear. Afraid. They were my true captors, not the Hunter. Everything was black again.
My eyes opened. I could see a sapphire sky with diamonds glittering with no fear of being spotted. The diamonds shone using all the force in the universe, as if trying to make sure they were noticed. A dirty pearl shone like the moon. There were no sounds other then my soft breathing. The Hunter had not returned to eat me. Nor feed me I noticed when my stomach growled like thunder. It was so silent. Not a sound in the world. No crickets. No chirping (dare I say annoying) birds. Just silence. Then a voice.
“Skunk, come over here little skunk”
At first I thought it was my imagination going wild yet again. I realized it was not when a shining emerald eye was at the bars if my cage, closest to the doors, farthest from where I was slumped against the cage wall. It was the little human. He had come for me. Somewhere deep inside me I knew he would. He beckoned me closer with his two tiny for humans but large for me hands. I came all the way to the bars. If I reached out I could touch his freckled nose. The silence in the night penetrated me.
“I will get you out little skunk, you will be free, and that’s a promise”
He uttered those faithful words and fled out the door of the shack into the dark night. While I waited for the little human I wondered. I wondered if the little human would be true to his word and come back for me. I looked up thought he the cracks in my cage and the branch made ceiling. I saw it was getting dark. I began to doubt the little human. I mean I didn’t even know his name nor vise versa! I called him little human and he called me little skunk! I knew I could never talk to the little human though I did want to get to know him. That was the number one rule in Willow Grove Superior Skunk Society of Great Britain. NEVER EVER TALK TO HUMANS. In my many months of schooling I had copied and discussed that sentence many times. I would not talk to the little human. I sighed with a little exasperation and annoyance. It was getting late and later. Then I heard a sound. A rustle in a nearby bush. I froze. Was it the Hunter? The little human? Was it just a little rabbit gossiping about in the bushes? Or was it something even more sinister? I heard next the creaking door of the shack open and close? Then the little human was there and he had brought some pretty big supplies. A set of colossal pliers much too large for him weighed the little human down. Without a word of greeting the little human went to work. He crouched down by my cage. My prison of reality and paid me no heed. He set the pliers onto a bar on my cage and pressed a button. In a blink of an eye I was out. Before I could scamper from the shack with my little human companion a sudden bang startled us. I stared goggle eyed at the door. I the escapee and the little human my rescuer stood frozen on the spot.
The Hunter was in the doorway glaring at us. Before we could move he spoke
“So this is the way you want it to be Steven my son eh? Well fine then when I catch you you’ll be a nice ingredient in the stunk stew along with your best smelly pal!”
The Hunter roared and lunged at us but the little human, the Hunters son was to fast for his beastly father. He grabbed me and jumped on a nearby creaking chair and out a window I had not noticed before. We ran. I ran. I ran like I had never ran before and STOP before I go on with my must be very suspenseful story if you’re still listening and not yet bored to sleep. I have to stop you here to tell you that I felt quite a bit of déjà vu here… we ran down the creek and around the bushes, the little human and I ran as far from the shack as we could. We expected this chase to never end. This was a cat and rat race. I was the rat. Guess who the cat was. Then (this here is where the real déjà vu starts up) the Hunter began gaining on us. Closer and closer (and this is where it gets “twisty-turvy”! so listen closely) and BOOM. It felt like a bomb had landed behind us. The human and I stopped. We turned our heads in unison. The Hunter was on the ground covered in dirt and dust. His evil heart had failed him. I knew then the Hunter was never going to terrorize the skunk community again. When the little human had realized what had happened a shower of tears fell from his emerald eyes, he ran off into the darkness. I did not follow. I do not know why up to this day. But yet, I was alive.
“Thanks for the story dad”
Young Stevie skunk yawned and turned to face his father Seno in his branch bed.
“Your welcome sonny, anytime; But now you must get some sleep for tomorrow we go bright and early racing with Uncle Eight.”
“Alright, but Dad tomorrow could you tell me the one about why you didn’t name me Seno Nine and named me after a human?”
The young skunk’s father simply smiled and got off his only child’s bed. He snuffed out the candles but instead of leaving he stood in the doorway. He tilted his head to one side and smiled a forlorn little smile. His gleaming black and white fur was not dulled by the darkness. There was not one piece of scum on it. Then Seno turned around and began to rehearse tomorrow’s story.