The Summer of the Skunks

Tyler MayhanNews

Excerpt from my June/July Shed Builder column

How many skunks does it take to make too many? Let me tell you about the summer of the skunks at our shop in Byars, Oklahoma. First, you should know that Byars is not a bustling metropolis. The population hovers around 250. Better Barns, where I have been gainfully employed for all of my adult life, is located a little south of Byars. We are in a very rural area.
Skunks do live in town sometimes. They are much more common in rural areas though. It is very common to see (and smell) a dead skunk on the highway on my commute to work. I’m not surprised to see a skunk. But after a while…

One morning at about 10, we all sat down for our morning break. Conversation drifted from subject to subject as sat in an irregular circle in the doorway at the back of the shop. Rodney reached down to grab his cup for a drink and nearly patted a skunk on the head! How that little fella got there before anyone saw him, I’ll never know.

Well, you can just imagine Rodney’s reaction. He leaped out of that chair like he’d been jolted with 220! He was across the shop and out the door before you could say “skunk”. The rest of us scattered as well. Everyone except Bob. He just stood there with a half grin on his face watching the skunk run back under a nearby stack of 2-by-6s.

Someone decided we should use the forklift to move the 2-by-6s so we could get to the skunk. A few minutes later, as the lift began to rise, we caught our first glimpse of the skunk in his new predicament. His tail had been pinned between the fork and the bottom of the lift of lumber! Hanging helplessly, he made an easy target for Vance’s rifle.