the other half of the story

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(pretend that it hasn't been almost a month since I told the first half of this story)

So when we left our brave skunk-fighters, we had two plans. One was to try and poison the skunk with smoke bombs, the kind that you can also put down gopher holes. We thought we could block both ends of the pipe with a feed sack full of dirt and slip the smoke bomb in and let it do its work. But since I am such a fraidey-cat, I was afraid of getting skunked when I blocked both ends of the pipe.

Our other plan was to try and dispatch the skunk with a .22 rifle.

Frugalboy, who at the ripe age of ten has already proven himself to be an excellent marksman with a .22 when plinking at soda cans up in the mountains with Frugaldad, was recruited to be our sniper.

I went outside around 7pm and crouched down and saw that the skunk had returned to the pipe. I went in and gathered the troops.

Our two plans morphed into one, and we thought we'd stick the smoke bomb into one end of the pipe, and shoot the skunk as it came out of the other end.

Frugalboy got into position. Frugaldad got the sack of dirt ready to put over the end of the pipe, put the smoke bomb onto a scrap of wood, and lit it (I got to watch since Frugalbaby was on my back in the pack). The skunk hightailed it out of the pipe, faster than we expected. Frugalboy froze - confounded by the speed of the skunk and frustrated by the tall grass interfering with his sight line. The long grass made it almost impossible to see where it was. Then we saw it go into the pipe that was right by the first one. But the smoke bomb was still smoking and making Frugaldad cough. So we all left the immediate area and regrouped.

There's nothing like shooting fish in a barrel, right? So after the smoke had cleared a little, Frugaldad got down, aimed at the skunk in the pipe. It is surprisingly hard to see clearly down a dark, 30' pipe. Nevertheless, he shot. And then we smelled skunk spray so we all went inside. Our hope was the skunk was dead, and in the morning, we'd have to get it out of the pipe and get it into the trash or bury it.

I went back out a while later and could see the skunk lying in the pipe. I thought surely it was dead, but I tapped the pipe a little and it moved! I did it again, and it raised its tail a little. At this point I felt a little bit bad that the skunk hadn't been killed instantly, but then I remembered that it is a skunk. Now our hope was that perhaps, in a perfect world, the injured skunk would leave our property and go die somewhere else and I wouldn't have to clean it up.

The next morning, the smell of skunk spray was still strong around the pipe, but the skunk was gone! And I haven't seen a skunk in that pipe since.

Since that night we've still seen skunks eating the cat food, but not as often. I hope they got the message that they are not welcome here.