Friday, February 10, 2012

What's Up With the Pink Skunk?

Lately I've been having really vivid dreams, the kind that are so crystal clear when they're playing out that I remember them for days afterward. Last night, I had one such dream. When I woke up from it I was very tempted to get up to research the possible meaning behind it. One look at the clock kept me in bed; it was only 1:46 am. I still had several hours of sleep to enjoy if I pulled the covers up to snuggle under, so I did just that. No way was I going to forget the dream even if I did go back to sleep.

In the dream, I was walking Neurotic, Silly Dog along a rural road. I could see up ahead of us a trio of kids in the road, walking away from us. I was faced with having to decide to continue walking straight or turn left onto another road. Right when I had decided to continue straight, a rather large, very bright pink with white stripe skunk came out of the ditch just in front of us and began to cross the road. While I marveled over its color--bright pink?--at the same time I feared Neurotic, Silly Dog was going to go after it. I pulled the leash tight and began backing away. The skunk looked our way then turned and  headed directly for us. I continued backing up, trying to go faster while pulling at Neurotic, Silly Dog who didn't seem to notice the skunk, but wasn't being cooperative in backing away with me either. The skunk set its sight on us, closed in, and sprayed. I could actually see the scent cloud dispersing through the air, heading straight for us. That's when I woke up.

Relief over the pink skunk being just a dream filled me. I couldn't help but laugh over the absurdity of the whole thing, but at the same time I wondered what it all meant. Having a skunk show up in a dream is one thing. Having a pink skunk show up is a completely different matter.

So far, I've learned this about skunks: they are very respected in the animal kingdom and have no natural predators but one, the Horned Owl who can't smell worth a dang. Skunks are solitary creatures who only use their foul stench-making defensive mechanism as a very last resort. It first hisses, stomps its front feet menacingly, and straightens its tail in warning. If the predator persists, then the skunk will spray. Because it takes up to ten days to fills its glands with another dose of smelly secretions, and because it can only spray 5 or 6 times during its lifetime, the skunk has to be very, very careful about how it uses its means of defense.

As I was reading about the skunk, I became awed. This is one amazing animal. It really is symbolic of live and let live, doing no harm if at all possible. While I've not decided what it all means as far as it applies to my own life, the dawning of understanding is beginning to take shape. I'm glad I dreamed about the pink skunk. There isn't anything to fear, but much to think about and learn by.

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