The trap was sprung Saturday morning.
When we last left Mr. Skunk in his Creature Catchers nest--or "trap," as it is less charmingly called--he was resting comfortably, perhaps wondering why the grub buffet--also laughingly called my lawn--was so near and yet so far.
It was still sprung Saturday afternoon, and I crept close enough to see that there was a black creature inside with a white stripe down his back.
And there he sat when my cousins picked me up at 5:20 p.m. Saturday, for a classic film at the Stanford Theatre. (Bette Davis in 1934's "Fog Over Frisco"--called "the fastest movie ever made." It is a murder mystery with great location shots of San Francisco almost 80 years ago.)
Since the Creature Catchers' business card says they work "Seven Days a Week," I had called them earlier in the day, even though it was Saturday, to report Mr. Skunk's capture. I didn't hear back from them, and, by the time I went out that evening, I was beginning to wonder if my prisoner was going to have to spend the entire Martin Luther King Jr. three-day holiday in the poky.
When I returned home from the movies and dinner, I forgot to greet him before going to my own evening's rest.
The next morning, the Fog wasn't over Frisco, it was right over my own hometown.
The Santa Clara Valley, between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, can sometimes have the fog roll in.
Wandering out to get the newspaper, still rubbing my sleep-filled eyes, I could barely see the redwood in my neighbor's backyard. It was a real pea-souper of a fog.
Shadows and fog in California.
But as the sun rose and the fog began to clear--both in my yard and in my sleepy head--it was apparent that something was definitely missing.
Mr. Skunk had vanished. And he had disappeared in the night along with his white-plastic-legal-humane-food-filled Creature Catcher trap.
He left without a goodbye of any kind. I've known a few skunks in my time and I've learned that this is often how a skunk takes leave of you.
The empty flagstone where Mr. Skunk used to be.
He was either abducted by aliens, or "relocated" by Andy of Creature Catchers. Or, he ran off with another skunk, leaving, as is usual in these cases, the mess behind for someone else to clean up.
Thus ends our latest adventures with Creatures. We hope we are well rid of them all, for the present. I thought I had sworn off those fellows, years ago.