A Skunky Story

A friend was just sharing about how a skunk crawled under their rental house and died. So not only did it have a skunk smell then it had a death smell on top of that. They had to crawl under house and retrieve it. That reminded me of a story.

Back when we lived on that old homestead property near Huckabay we had a 30ft hand dug well back from the 1800s when the land was first settled. It was rock lined and was the sweetest water we ever tasted. Was amazing. The top of the well had rocks neatly stacked around it in a circle but not mortared together. Then there was a sheet of plywood on top of that to keep out the dust and then a huge round water trough turned upside down over it.

Inside the well lived a family of bull snakes. They didn’t bother us so we left them alone. We heard they eat baby rattle snakes and copperheads so we welcomed them to stay. Besides the extra added benefit of the adreneline rush when you flipped the water trough off to check the well it was fine for them to be there.

Anyway, one day I was brushing my teeth when my mouth instantly started to burn then went numb. Honestly couldn’t say there was a flavor just burn, then numbness. After some cussing (sorry God), we went to check the well. We flipped the water trough off not sure what we’d find. The plywood still set on top but one of the neatly stacked rocks was pulled aside.

We quickly threw aside the plywood and looked inside the well. Something was floating on top of the water. We couldn’t quite make it out. We ran to the house grabbed a mirror to reflect a strong beam of sunlight into the well. By the way thats a good tip we learned from an old timer. Flashlights don’t shine well into a well in the daylight. Anyway, the bright beam of light reflected to our horror a bunch of black & white fur.

Now it wasn’t like a skunk just fell in there and drown and just was floating there. No, it was like someone shaved a skunk and threw the fur in. Loose fur floating. Was so gross and so very curious. We called one well company in. He looked at it and said a skunk had been looking for a place to hide and dug under the trough then pulled the rock out thinking it was a safe hole. Instead he fell into the well and by the state of the decomposition even figuring the water being very, very chilly its been in there quite some time.

Seems us watering the garden got the water level just low enough for the pump to hit “the good stuff” at just the time I was brushing my teeth. Yum! This is where we do the heebie jeebie dance. The well guy laughed when we asked if he’d get it out. And left probably still laughing all the way back to the office.

So we called the next well service on the list. A guy we went to church with family owns the company. We call him out to look. The guys that worked for him looking at their boss like “Seriously you aren’t gonna take this job are you?” Well he agreed to help us. Thank God! A call to the property owner later a second well truck showed up.

They got a fishing net duck taped it to a piece of pvc and fished the skunk parts out piece by stinky piece. They said as soon as they touched the fur layer at the top whatever was holding it together just fell apart. These poor guys had to fish out every chunk, every clump of hair!

I came to check a while later. They buried the chunks. They got all the pieces out. They then shocked the well AND poured lots of bottles of bleach in there too. The bleach smell was so strong you couldn’t stand it. They left saying we could have the net “Yeah thanks”. As they packed up to leave I thought to myself “These guys ROCK!”

They suggested after a few days to let water run through all pipes to clean everything good and do not wash clothes not even whites because the amount of bleach could damage them. Two weeks later another strong bleach treatment and then after we could use water again. After that we bought our drinking water.

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