Part of our missionary training was living for six weeks in a “home” we made of poles covered with dark and clear plastic. Kitchen cupboards, benches, and beds were all made of poles and twine. Think glorified camping.
For the most part, it was actually a fun and uneventful part of our training. For the most part. But there was this skunk roving between the houses.
And though I don’t jump and scream at every little thing, I do draw the line at skunks entering my home — even my temporary home.
We had come home one evening after visiting the neighbors. A glance around the house revealed no stray guests so we headed for bed. It wasn’t until later that it became evident that a skunk was in the house with us.
My husband of a year and a half, still being a young man with what I considered at that moment some very foolish ideas, had a plan to get the skunk. He’d been told that if you grabbed them by the tail and picked them up before they planted their back feet, that they could not spray. I mean, this was before internet. How could he KNOW that???!!!
“But what if you’re wrong?” I argued in vain. “What if he sprays our house?”
“It’s just a temporary house,” my husband responded. “It’ll be okay.” He looked way too pleased and way too ready to face the challenge at hand.
How do you argue with such reasoning? My mind went through the list of meager possessions in our very temporary home, searching for something of value, something that shouldn’t be sprayed by a skunk. And then I had it!
“The Bibles! He’ll spray the Bibles!” I yelled in as loud a whisper as felt safe with a skunk wandering on the floor beneath us.
A chuckle? A laugh? Was that really my husband’s reaction?
It was. But he found it humorous enough that he gave up on the idea of reaching down from our relatively high bed to grasp the skunk’s tail. I breathed a sigh of relief. And then we waited. And waited. Until Mr. DePew finally wandered out of the house and left us in peace.
We did make changes after that. A bucket propped in front of the door at night became the norm to prevent Mr. DePew from pushing his way in. That being said, that would not be my last encounter with Mr. DePew. But that’s another story for another time.