The Dead Skunk’s Tale

Updated on August 8, 2019
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl enjoys writing articles that inspire the reader to think about issues.

Wikifur
Wikifur | Source

The skunk speaks

Pepe Le Pew is a cute Looney Tune's caricature of a skunk. He's always chasing love and speaking in french. In reality, no one enjoys the scent that is emitted from skunks when they are startled. One day in early April, I noticed the smell of a skunk as I was driving on a certain street. Later, when walking through the area with my grandchildren, we saw a dead skunk on the sidewalk in front of an auto upholstery business. I'm always the one to call and report power outages, downed power lines or stop signs that have been knocked over, but this time I decided to wait. I wanted to find out if anyone else would report the deceased mammal and have it removed. Time went on and the polecat was still in its spot. April turned into May and the scent subsided but the carcass was not removed. I realized this animal who was silent in death was speaking volumes.

I wondered why the owners and or workers of the auto upholstery establishment did not have the skunk moved? Why were their patrons and police who patrolled the area just going about their business as if this disgusting sight was not right out in front of everyone who walked or drove through the area? July came and with it extreme heat. I did not find myself in the area where the skunk's dead body resided for most of the month. When at last I traveled that way, I saw that nothing was left but the skin. It was lying flat on the ground as if it were a thin piece of carpet. By the end of the month the color looked like burned grass and had shriveled up somewhat.

Wikimedia
Wikimedia | Source

Things don't change until they change

I began to ponder the hundreds of men, and women, who walked or drove that way each day. Not one of them thought to make a simple phone call that would get what was left of the skunk off the sidewalk. Before I knew it, August was upon us. People simply ignored that mass that was on the ground as if it did not matter. When I shared this with my oldest son, he asked me what I expected, based on the location. The skunk was in a working-class area, mixed with deep pockets of poverty. Individuals who are thinking about where their next meal is coming from, or are running trying not to miss a bus, have the weight of the world on their shoulders and could care less about a dead skunk.

The employees of the upholstery company are probably barely making enough money to survive and their minds are elsewhere. The sight and stench of the polecat, just blended in with the other scenery and smells of that neck of the woods. It was not that those who passed this animal were being lax, they simply were worn down by the cares of life. In my opinion, this is why you see rundown homes in impoverished neighborhoods, with three or four broken down vehicles in the yard. With a lack of money and a feeling of hopelessness comes the inability to focus on what others so easily comprehend. I recall once when my husband was out of work and we were barely making it, his older brother commented that our vehicle needed washing. He had worked for the General Electric company for 30 years at that time, had never missed a paycheck or a meal. He kept his vehicles spotless because he had the time, money and mindset to do so. My husband and I were concerned about feeding our children and meeting the mortgage, so a clean car was the least of our worries. When our situation changed, then so did our behavior. Things really cannot change for the disenfranchised, until there is a change.

Wikepedia
Wikepedia | Source

Too broke to pay attention

I was in a church service years ago, where a preacher made a statement as a joke, but to this day I realize it has validity. He said that some people were too broke to pay attention. Those going to work every day and stepping over the skunk, along with people who walked or drove around it are broken in some way. It could be emotional, a physical condition and of course financial. The cares of the world have overwhelmed them to the point where they were not really paying attention, and or just did not care.People who live in this part of town also may be used to the city officials and police not moving in a timely manner and thought to themselves, "What's the use?" I recall when a teenage acquaintance of my youngest son was shot just a few blocks from my grandmother's home, we went to the scene and saw the young man crumpled on the ground near the curb. People were asking when the body would be removed and the answer was when the coroner arrived.

We went home, but I was curious and returned to the grim scene about two hours later, to find the child still in the street. Because it was a crime scene, his mother could not touch him and stood nearby crying. The next day I was told that it took the corner five hours to show up and remove the body. Neighbors complained that if this had happened in a more affluent neighborhood, the young man would never have remained at the curb that long. When people experience this type of injustice on a regular basis, they expect the worst and unfortunately many times they get it.

There are people, such as an aunt of mine who dot every I and cross each T. Their lawns are meticulously manicured, and they pick up even the smallest piece of paper that may soil their well kept yard. My aunt, and others like her would have made a phone call to the animal control department within 60 seconds of seeing that dead skunk. It probably would not have been on the ground four hours, and certainly not been allowed to rot away for four months. That one dead skunk spoke volumes, and the fact that it continues to reside on the sidewalk tells an incredible tale. As I write the clock is ticking away into the seventh month of the year and I have to wonder if the skunk remains will stay in that spot until the elements clear them away.

Wiki media
Wiki media | Source

In the eye of the beholder

All of life, much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In today's "Me too" era, there are those who might say there was nothing cute about Pepe Le Pew and that he is a sexual predator. Likewise, not everyone will understand my reasoning regarding why no one had the skunk removed from the sidewalk. Those reading who can take a vacation to relieve stress, and don't live with the fear of something being repossessed, or being evicted or foreclosed upon, cannot comprehend what I suggest. It nevertheless remains true. Those who live for months, years and decades under the stress of poverty and lack often can see no further than how they will obtain their next meal. They could be living with roaches, mice, rats, backed-up toilets, appliances and heat that does not work. and dealing with slumlords. To these individuals, a dead skunk is simply par for the course. This is why as Dionne Warwick sang, they simply walk on by.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Cheryl E Preston

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        Cheryl, this is an excellent article that really speaks to the mindset of poor people, who do really know where their next meal is coming from. This is a heartbreaking reality. This is a profound reality that you show us in this article.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)