Is it bad luck if a black-and-white polecat crosses your path?
Driving home from the basketball game the night before last, I saw a creature making its way across the highway at the far reaches of my high beams. As I drove closer, I realized it bore the distinctive black-and-white markings that indicated I had spotted a skunk.
The creature was in no hurry, ambling along to the south. It had already crossed my lane and was well out of danger from my wheels when I reached it, and no other cars were approaching from the opposite direction.
During my encounter, I realized we’ve hit that time of year when the skunks are roaming about in a romantic frenzy, seeking their polecat paramour.
With no sense of urgency in its gait, the skunk paused long enough as I passed to take a peek over its shoulder before moving on toward the edge of the road. The stink eye thrown my way seemed to convey the message that this skunk meant business. No mere automobile would deter it from its journey of the heart.
I know in the weeks to come, the less fortunate brethren of this creature will litter the local highways. They’ll leave behind a scent that stings the nose, signalling their unrequited quest for love.
And now that you’re thinking about it, here’s some Loudon Wainwright III for you.