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The “Skunk Show”

I was watching TV on a Saturday afternoon one time years ago and there was a “Skunk Show” on. I don’t mean a nature show about skunks, I mean like a dog show where they judge dogs and walk them around on a leash and stuff except it was for skunks. I kid you not there were 50 skunks of every color entered in this show, competing for the “best skunk of the show” prize. I didn’t know they came in different colors but they do. Black and white of course, blond, cinnamon, brown, whatever. They interviewed some of the owners and they said skunks were the best pets they ever had. There were kids there playing with their skunks. Sooo – I thought wow how great would that be for a magic show! I’ve never seen a skunk in a show before. So I found a good breeder on the internet and ordered a baby skunk. $350. They sent my check back and politely said I couldn’t own a skunk in my state, thanks anyway. I checked into it and they are right – it’s illegal to own a skunk in my state. I called the wildlife people and they said I could apply for a special permit for a $200 non-refundable fee. It would take a couple of months to go through the process, and if they denied the permit I still lose the $200. What the heck. So I sent money and the forms, they responded that I needed to prove I was a professional magician and get a letter from a local veterinarian etc., etc. So I did all that, but by now it was too late in the year to get a baby skunk because they are only born in the spring. Even in captivity. I was slowly becoming a skunk expert. Ask me anything. Finally they sent a letter saying I could have a skunk with a list of conditions like semi-annual exams etc. I waited till the next spring and ordered my baby skunk,(they come de-scented by the way – I know you were wondering).

So 2 years since I first had the idea. They flew it to the Vegas airport and I picked it up at the cargo hanger. Wow a baby skunk. I named it Squirt and it became part of the family. It loved to play all day and would paw at your legs incessantly if you didn’t. I found that it liked playing with 1 or 2 people, but if there was a crowd of 4 or 5 or more it got real grumpy real fast. The internet says that’s a normal trait with skunks. Kind of a bummer for magic shows.

Anyway – when Squirt was about 6 months old he got another round of shots from the veterinarian, and he started sleeping more and more, being grumpy more and more and quit eating. I think he got distemper from his distemper inoculation shot at the vets. You know how sometimes people get the flu from a flu shot – same thing. Well distemper is fatal for animals. Squirt died when he was 8 or 9 months old, I was holding him and stoking his fur, sad night. My daughter (Squirt’s favorite human) was there too. I cried a little. So that’s the cute, sweet sad story of Squirt, now comes the part where you’ll think I’m a freak. My son does taxidermy (oh don’t tell me – please don’t tell me) yep! I want him to stuff Squirt. I would like to give Squirt a special place in my magic room because I don’t think there are very many magic skunks around. So – Ben (my son) has Squirt’s hide in the freezer downstairs (told you – freak) and he will taxidermy him when he comes home from Alaska in the fall. Kind of has a cute “Psycho” twist to it. Oh well. I don’t think I will get another skunk – it’s out of my system. It was a lot of work and they don’t like crowds. Rabbits do, so I’ll immortalize Squirt in my magic room and call it good.

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