How We See Each Other
In Ossipee we got to talking about the differences between Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. This could be a long conversation, but this little story, seems to me, clarifies a couple of things:
Anne moved to Everett, Massachusetts. She liked her new home and her next door neighbor who was handy, helpful, 80 plus years old, and originally from Maine. Spring comes and so do the skunks. One or two take up residence under Anne’s house. She would like them removed but doesn’t know how. So she consults the neighbor.
“Ray,” she says, “where do you suppose all these skunks come from?”
He says, “Must be they come down from Maine.”
Seems when he was a boy he encountered a lot of those Maine skunks.
“How’d you get rid of them?”
He says, “Hang on, I’ll be right back.”
He returns from his house with a small, souvenir baseball bat — just about a foot long — and a fire place glove.
“When I was a boy,” he says, “we’d crawl under the house, conk them in the head with the little bat to daze ‘em, and drag ‘em out by the tail. Relocate ‘em down the rud.”
“And that worked,” she said.
“Oh, yuh, worked good.”
Anne feels the need to probe a little deeper. “Ray,” she says, “after you conked the skunk, grabbed him by the tail, and relocated him down the road, when you went back to the house, what did your mother say?”
Ray thought a minute. “She said, ‘Ray, go out back, strip naked and bury your clothes.’”