Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Is that a skunk?"

The desire to raise our young children in a rural atmosphere was what brought us to Huntsville Utah 43 years ago. Dad Clawson grew up there and wanted his kids to have the same experience. At first I felt like we were in “Timbuktu” because it was ‘a long distance phone call’ to all my family and friends, actually it was only 20 minutes from Ogden on the other side of the mountain. I adjusted well however and the kids loved it.

One warm summer day while taking the trash out I noticed a large animal with it’s head under a shrub.  I was a bit concerned because it wasn’t frightened off by the noise I was making....What is this animal and why is it not running away I thought. Slowly I walked toward it expecting it to bolt any minute..but it didn’t move.  It’s body was black, quite large, too large to be a cat I thought, but it’s fur didn’t look like a dogs fur either.  I gently prodded it a with a stick to see if it would move.  Still no movement but it  made a low muffled growling sound. “What the heck”?  After a second I decided it must be a skunk!  I had never seen a skunk in my life so I thought their may be several varieties of skunks, maybe some skunks don’t have white stripes?  I wanted to be cautious so I ran into the house to look up “skunks” in the encyclopedia.  I found out ALL skunks have white stripes and this skunk didn’t have one.  I went back outside and got the courage to lift up the shrub to see what it’s head looked like.  To my shock and horror I didn’t see a head.....I saw a large Hershey’s Cocoa can with a body attached to it! 

 While I was in this dilemma I remembered a few days earlier when I drained the fat from some ground beef into an empty cocoa can then tossed it in the trash! 
I decided a huge black Tom Cat must have smelled the fat and crammed his head down inside so tightly that it was suffocating! 

 My motherly instincts came out and all I could think of was to save that cat.  I tugged and tugged but it wouldn’t budge. Finally I lifted up that heavy fat cat in between my knees so I could use both hands to twist the can off...no luck!  I thought well at least I can give it some air. I ran to get an old V shaped pop can opener and prayed I wouldn’t pop out an eyeball  but before I could get the second hole punched that cat took off like a bat out of you know where.   Only problem is
it couldn't see where it was going so it zigzagged back and forth knocking into fences and other things as it ran out of sight.  The kids were watching the whole thing and got the biggest kick..they laughed and laughed.  The cat was still among the living but it wouldn’t be dining out anytime soon.
Several weeks went by and no sign of kitty until one day the kid’s came running in screaming “the cat with the cocoa can is back!!   It looked a lot skinnier by then so Dad Clawson took compassion and with the ‘no food or drink’ self imposed diet it had been on, the can came off...but it scratched the heck out of him.  He wasn’t happy!

Moral of the story:   Don’t take that attractive bait...it’s a trap...you’ll be blinded and won’t recognize the important things in life like the propercare and nourishment of body and spirit.


  1. I remember that cat...running around crashing into everything! Probably the only document case of dad having compassion on a cat.

  2. Didn't we name that cat cocoa?

  3. Dad's compassion was compelled by mom's insistence! It's widely known that dad is NO cat lover!!!

  4. No…don't you remember? His name was HERSHEY! Or was it HE-SHE??