Our Rural Roots

The Day I Almost Got Skunked

(Progressive Farmer image by Getty Images)

Like many people across the United States, home became my office during COVID-19 quarantine. With two preschool-aged children underfoot, chaos is a given, even in the best of times.

I'm an agricultural law specialist by day, and I have worked hard to build a good reputation for myself and try to always act professionally in work settings. I never dreamed a pandemic could turn into pandemonium.

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It all started when the kids and the dog were playing in the yard as I was preparing for a Zoom video call with the professors in my department. I glanced out the window just to be sure everyone was still safe and saw a huge skunk.

Being a woman of action, I rushed out to usher two wet children and a muddy dog into the house. Then, I opened our gun safe intending to take care of this varmint. I soon came to the realization I was not clear which shells fit the shotgun.

My husband was at work, so I called our neighbor for help. Naturally, the skunk was nowhere to be found, but at least the neighbor made sure I was suitably armed in case my little friend came back.

I started the Zoom call as though nothing had happened. Ping! A text from my neighbor let me know the skunk was once again in my front yard.

So, there I was on a video call with many of the top agricultural economists in the country, grabbing my shotgun like Annie Oakley and running across the screen to do away with this skunk once and for all. Do not mess with a woman on a mission.

In the end, my gentleman of a neighbor took care of skunk disposal, and I finished my call. But, I keep waiting for a video of me from that Zoom meeting to appear as one of those embarrassing Internet memes -- that would really stink.

> When Tiffany Dowell Lashmet isn't chasing wild animals, she balances farm, farm children and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at littlehousebiglifetx.wordpress.com, on Instagram at @littlehousebiglifeblog and on Twitter @TiffDowell.

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