The Summer Of '54

(The Skunk)

It was the summer of '54 and by now I was a boyscout and we lived in Abilene, the county seat of Taylor County. Our scout troup went to the Brazos river bottoms between Abilene and Anson on a weekend camping trip, and still being the imp I had always been as a young boy growing up in Texas then you can just bet adventure would be forthcoming! For of what use would a camping trip be without danger, thrills, adventure, mischief? And from years of experience I had gotten real good at the latter.
All went well until sunday morning, that was when we discovered the den.... burrowed into a creek bank was a dark opening, one which showed signs of heavy traffic. What group of boys could resist that open invitation? It would be un-natural to just pass on our way. We poked inside it with every available stick and no one could find the back of the hole, a fact that made us all the more determined to find out what lived in that hole, and was it home?

A faint whiff of 'ode de'skunk' hung in the air, but we had all discussed that. After all we had all heard that skunks never spray inside their dens... we all shook our heads in agreement... baby skunks make good pets... again total agreement... somebody had to go down the hole... Before long I became that more than willing volunteer! So it was down into the hole, and forever into my memories.
When we returned to our base camp the scout master refused to let me ride home in his car with the others, but offered to call my Dad and have him pick me up. There was ample time for me to muse over my errors as I waited on the US 277 bridge over the Brazos that afternoon until Dad could drive out from town to get me. I had to ride from the bridge to the house in the bed of his old truck. There was even more time to consider better alternatives for obtaining a pet skunk as my Mom bathed me in tomato juice out in the back yard to remove the smell, and even deeper reflections as I watched my new scout uniform burn in the fire Dad built there in the yard. Sure wish I could find that "expert" that said skunks don't spray in their dens.

~ Dave Griffith ~
"This page is written for you on the pallet of my heart!!!"

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