Today the item on my To-Do list circled in blaring red is finishing the print galleys for Twice Upon A Roadtrip, which made me think of Barney. No, not the purple dinosaur. This is Barney:
Why does working on Roadtrip make me think of a skunk? No, not because it stinks. If you’ve read it, you might remember why. Anway.
How did Barney come to be my lil buddy? My husband has a thing about skunks. Not as bad as my thing about chicken feet, but he’s not a fan. He wanted to evict Barney from the property—the hard way if necessary. So one day Barney’s roaming around my kitchen garden in the bright morning sun. (I think something happened to Barney’s mom.) I had strict instructions to fill his basement exit with rocks if I saw him and then shoot at him with the AirSoft gun (which does nothing but sting) so he’d go live somewhere else. Well, I’m not shooting a baby anything with an AirSoft gun. Besides, the poor lil guy couldn’t scale the ties. He was trapped. *sigh* So I did what I had to do…I gave him bits of hot dog and cat food. And I sat on the step and let him scratch behind his ears on the edge of my shoe. And if I wiggled my toes he’d scrunch himself up and let out these tiny little whiffs of stink. So here’s the conversation we had in the afternoon:
Shan: See, my husband doesn’t like skunks, so if he sees you out here, he might throw rocks at you and hurt you.
Shan: But if I put you in this little box with some grass and some food, he’ll go all softy and take you to live at the old dump.
Barney: *blink* *stomps front feet* (Skunks do that. It’s so cute, like little stinky divas.)
So I picked him up, and we played a while, and then I put him in the box. (Caveat: wearing leather gloves and padded sweatshirt—he may be cute and tiny like a hamster, but I’m not stupid.)
Shan: So you nap for a while, because you’re supposed to be nocturnal, and then my husband will take you to your new home.
A little while later…
Husband: Did you happen to see Pepe today?
Shan: Yes. I named him Barney and we had a picnic of hot dogs and cat food.
Husband: You did WHAT?
Shan: *shows him box with cute lil face*
Husband: Hey, Barn. Wanna go live at the dump?