Once skunked, you never forget it!
Ozark County native Lonnie High, now living in Camdenton, is one of the eight children raised by the late Elmer and Thelma High in the Grabeel community.
I saw a skunk walk across my yard last evening here in Camdenton, and it reminded me of a time long ago when I was a young man in Ozark County.
I was staying with my folks at our farm at Grabeel at the time. One evening I decided to go for a walk down the road to our neighbors’ house where a couple of my friends lived. After visiting awhile I started my walk home. It was dark by then, and the moon cast evil shadows across the road.
Wait. What was that rustling out of the brush behind me?
Not wishing to hang around and see, I began running down the road. Just then a furry creature crossed in front of me, brushing against my legs. All of a sudden I began smelling skunk. It seemed the faster I ran, the stronger the odor got. For a while I thought the thing must be chasing me!
Upon reaching our farmhouse, I yanked opened the back door and rushed inside. “Skunk!” someone yelled.
My parents and sister came out of the living room to see where the smell was coming from. Realizing it was coming from me, they screamed, “Get out! Get out!”
“Mom, it sprayed my britches!” I hollered, completely rattled.
“Burn them!” she yelled.
As luck would have it, I had on a new pair of shoes that night. Not wanting to throw them away too, I tried cleaning them with everything I could think of. Finally, the smell was gone. Or so I thought.
On Saturday night, I went to my girlfriend’s house, and we started our drive to Ava. It was a cold winter night, and as the heater started warming up the car, I began smelling that awful odor. The farther along we went, the stronger it got. Finally my girlfriend yelled, “I smell skunk!”
“Oh, I must have run over one on the road and it’s on the tires,” I lied, acting innocent.
When we got to Ava, we stopped at my friend’s house to see if he and his wife would like to see a movie with us. While standing around the heating stove, the familiar stench became even stronger.
“Tires?” my girlfriend said. “It’s you, isn’t it?”
Sheepishly, I had to admit it was my new shoes and that I had been skunked.
“It’s OK,” she said. “Just leave them home the next time – and I think we better forget about the movie.”