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interesting visitor

About an hour ago I put the finishing touches on a humongous indexing job 
that has been absorbing all my time for the past two weeks, and because my back, 
legs, eyes, etc. were all aching, I walked down to the vegetable garden to 
relax.  While I was pondering the damage that two weeks of neglect can do, and 
wondering why I have had such very poor germination of seeds this year, I became 
aware that a black and white animal was approaching across the lawn.  I have 
two "tuxedo" cats, but I knew they were both inside.  There is another 
black-and-white in the neighborhood who sometimes comes to commune with my obese 
white female (he doesn't seem to know that she's spayed), so I assumed it was him 
- not really paying much attention.  When I started to leave the garden, which 
is fenced to foil the deer and other critters, I realized that the black and 
white animal on the lawn, by now about ten feet away, was another species 
altogether.  About the time I focused on this matter, he (or she - I didn't really 
investigate) seemed to notice that I was there.  We stood and looked at each 
other for a long moment (maybe 30 seconds).  Before I could really think what 
to do, the skunk turned and waddled slowly off into the sedges beside the 
pond, and I returned to the house as quickly as I could without making any sudden 
movements or sounds.  Of course we know there are skunks around - usually 
smell them about daybreak.  I have suspected they were the culprits who dig in the 
pots in my breezeway container garden.  There was even the time some years 
ago when we were away and our son was feeding the cats and found one eating from 
the cat's dish.  This is the first time I have come face to face with one.  
It really wasn't as pretty an animal as I would have suspected - my cats are 
better looking.  The white wasn't all that white, and it moved in an awkward, 
unfeline way.  I'm very glad it went, however.  Auralie

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