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Was It or Wasn’t It?

Kathy Dingus


Those of you who have know me for any length of time, know that I have Multiple Sclerosis, and the medications I have to take for this disease from time have been know to make me hallucinate on occasion. Well, not badly. I just see turkeys, where there are none, just little simple things like that. I have lost my vision sometimes, so I don’t mind not seeing perfectly. I am thankful that I can see at all.

That being stated, I can now tell you that I was recovering from a round of steroids that I take on a regular basis every two months. My health was further complicated by a nasty little brown recluse spider bite. It bit me in a very sensitive spot…shall we say, oh…under my right breast. (Nasty place to be bitten too!) So I had to take some heavy duty antibiotics on top of trying to come “down" off of the steroids. They keep me awake and I can’t be still, so I was awake at about 4:30 a.m. I decided I would go out on the back porch and sit in my rocker and look at the moon and stars.

I promptly walked out the back door and went across the porch to my rocking chair and sat for a spell. Looking around at the great outdoors on that early morning I glanced at the bottom of the porch steps and froze. Surely it couldn’t be! But it was…I saw a skunk at the bottom of those steps. Oh my! This was much worse than a brown recluse spider. I froze mid rock in my rocker! I sure wasn’t gonna move, and that skunk wasn’t moving either. I sat there for at least 45 minutes…looking at the moon, the stars, watched the grass grow. The skunk just sat there. It wasn’t going anywhere. It must have found me fascinating; although I probably was…my housecoat and nightgown were very appealing, grey cotton. A skunk must be really interested in grey cotton, cause it just sat there staring at me. I stared too. I was already contemplating how much tomato juice it would take to get the perfume of that little rascal off my person. It would take a truck load of tomato juice and a swimming pool for me to roll around in, and I didn’t have either one. Man, was I in trouble, big time!

I sat there for about 10 more minutes. No movement from the bottom of the steps. The longer I sat there…the lighter it got outside as the sun slowly started to rise. I thought it would really be a beautiful morning, if this skunk weren’t lying at the bottom of these steps. Slowly the sun rose just over the top of the mountain, and started to send its rays to us here who are fotunate to live on the mountain top. The longer I sat there…I began to see that what I thought was a skunk…might not be a skunk at all. You know how you strain to see something in the darkness, and it slowly becomes clear? Well that’s what I was beginning to figure out.

My younger son had left his new bike propped against the back steps…and you guessed it! It had a white stripe on the side. Looked just like a skunk to me. I got up from that rocker, kinda irritated that I had sat there so long, scared to death of getting skunked from a bicycle!

I slowly got up…slowly because I had sat there so long, I was stiff as I could be. My arms and legs didn’t want to work too well. I ambled on inside and shut the door, muttering and laughing at myself all the way to bed.

I was telling my skunk tale the next afternoon, and my son stated that he had seen a dead one just up the drive on the main road. I had seen skunks walk through before, and after hearing my son…maybe I really saw that skunk…or did I? I’ll never know. But I’m really thankful that I didn’t skunked! The tomato juice cans would have piled up in the garbage bin, just imagine the stain in the tub from the tomato juice…and I’d probably still smell like a skunk after trying all the home remedies I could think of to get that perfume off of me.

Did I see that skunk…or didn’t I?

Only the shadow knows.