It was 6:15am. All I wanted was the warmth, comfort, and security of my soft fluffy bed. I was groggily lacing up my shoes and zipping up my thin jacket, bracing myself against the gripping chill of a Stygian, tenebrous Autumn morning.
"I think we should bring the camera on our walk this morning," my husband said.
*grumble grumble* was all I could mutter.
"We see so many neat things on these walks, I think we should bring it."
Whether by my icy blank stare or a further grumble, I'm not sure, but somehow I kaboshed his suggestion.
Once we reached the park, of course, my "I want to go back to bed" mantra melted away and bite of the crisp October morning invigorated me to the core. The blood was rushing, my heart was pumping, and I was grateful to be alive and inhaling the beauty of this place.
We've seen some pretty spectacular sights on these morning excursions. Triple rainbows, spawning salmon, samurai Egrets, river otters, whole flocks of Canadian geese alighting on the fiery sunrise-lit glassy waters... I thought we'd seen it all. And then we saw... him.
Sleek ebon body, bipartite white stripes, defiant top-of-the-food-chain mien. Any ideas?
Without a shred of mercy, Pepé looked directly at us, lifted his tail, and started to do the skunky handstand. I knew for sure I'd be soaking in vinegar baths and avoiding polite company for the next two months.
My husband calmly and firmly grasped my hand, we halted, backed up, and walked in another direction. I was mentally cancelling all of my dinner engagements when I looked over my shoulder, preparing to face the bilious blast. Pepé was waddling away!
We crossed paths, less confrontationally, with the skunk several more times during our stroll. At each encounter, the remembrance of my grumpy grousing returned to reproach me. How fun it would have been to photograph the fetid fink!
When, at last, we were within the safety of my sedan, the corners of my husband's mouth were scarcely concealing his impish smile. He never said it. But we both had a good laugh as I wryly and ruefully remarked, "You were right."