Happy Birthday From One Skunk to Another

Dear Son,

Now that you are an adult, I thought you might want some fatherly advice from a fellow skunk.  We have a bad reputation, but we really are intelligent, playful and capable of great affection.

The Good

We skunks have a bad reputation, but we really are intelligent, playful and capable of giving affection.  We are great adventurers.  Skunks are known to range far and wide.  We’re also pretty good at defending ourselves.  Skunks are very smart. We’re really good at opening refrigerator doors and cabinets. We also learn right from wrong pretty easily.  With proper training, we skunks can be nice companions.  We are cuddly and even though people don’t know it, we like to snuggle.  We also like to sleep in bed. Skunks are also quite flexible. We eat anything.  We have been known to even eat food off of the carpet. Skunks are also generally (I say “generally” because your father did not inherit this trait) pretty good with their hands. We love to dig. We are wonderful when properly cared for and trained.

The Bad

We do have a lot of good qualities, but skunks are something of a two-sided coin.  I’m sorry to say that despite our social, affectionate nature, we are something of an enigma.  We tend to be loners.  We say goodbye to Mom and leave home early.  We also don’t naturally parent our kids.  It’s hard for us.  If we had our druthers, we’d live alone. Although we are good natured, we also tend to stomp our feet occasionally.  Skunks are also nocturnal, which doesn’t lend itself to health and wealth. Our continual foraging for food tends to make us overweight. When we get older, we get really set in our ways and stubborn.  Skunks are also easily offended. Once you offend a skunk, you won’t be able to do it again. “Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me” is his motto.  We never forget and rarely forgive.

The Ugly

You were probably wondering when I’d get around to this. We have some pretty bad habits. As you know, we can stink.  Our most notorious feature is our anal scent glands. If you don’t believe me, check out Wikipedia.  The good news about this aspect of a skunk is that it makes us good defenders.  Also, unfortunately we tend to defecate and urinate in some unusual places (we don’t like litter boxes), and we’ll sleep anywhere.  Furthermore, we go crazy during breeding season. We get aggressive and territorial.  Skunks can get nutty at other times as well. We have been known to damage walls, furniture, doors, almost anything.

Some Fatherly Advice

Now you know the good, bad and ugly aspects of being a skunk.  As a more experienced member of our breed, I thought I’d tell you some things to help you stay out of the school of hard smells. 

1) You are bigger than the female.  Be careful how you treat her physically

2) You love to fly.  That’s a wonderful thing. However, keep in mind that one of your greatest passions can also be your enemy if you’re not careful.  Owls and other birds of prey can have us for lunch.

3) There is an even bigger skunk enemy out there: humans.  They sometimes inadvertently kill us with their vehicles.  Sometimes, though, they even set traps for us. They have a bad name for skunks: “Polecats”. Have a healthy respect for mankind.

4) Be cautious in your choice of females. Don’t be like “Pepe Le Pew”, who chases every stripe in town, only to find he is stuck with a cat.

Anyhow, son, have a stinky birthday!




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