The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

A Skunk Story

By Beulah Goad Richardson © 1989

Issue: January, 1989

We heard Momma talk about Lee Jackson having skunks that ate with his cats and he told everyone that they were good pets to catch mice. Papa was working for A. D. Vaughn and one evening he came by Mr. Vaughn's house and his wife, Cora Vaughn, told him to tell us kids to come over and get us some cabbage to eat so Momma sent Ornie, my brother, and me to get them. When we went over the hill we met a skunk with her babies so Ornie said he was going to get him one for a pet. Cora, my sister, had made Ornie a new hat so he put his new hat over the skunk and we went back home.

Before we got to the house Momma asked Ornie what he had and he told her he had got a skunk for a pet. Momma told him to take it back where he got it from and leave it so we did and we went down to Cora Vaughn's to get the cabbage. We told Cora about the experience we had just had and she laughed so hard at us.

When Ornie and I got back home he was worried about his new hat that Cora had made him so she washed it then buried it but the scent never came out. Cora ended up making him a new hat. Then one day he was out playing and hung his new hat on a bush and forgot what he did with it and Cora had to make him another new hat (she was always making him hats). One day Papa was getting the cows and found where Ornie had hung his hat on a bush, the hat had rotted by then, and Papa came on home and told him about his hat and then Ornie said, "That is where I hung it and forgot where."

This happened fifty years ago. Now Papa, Momma, Ornie, A. D. Vaughn, and Cora Vaughn are all deceased.