A Baby Skunk Brother to Call My Own? Not!!!

Posted on July 13, 2010

Sequoia running away from his baby skunk brother.

I did not know what a hissy fit was until we brought home a baby brother for Sequoia.  Tis the season for baby skunks.  In the spirit of all the pet baby skunks coming home to meet their new families and siblings, this story is reprinted from the memoirs, Skunk Medicine.

No, we didn’t ask Sequoia if he wanted a little brother.

One night my friend said she knew a woman who wanted to find a new home for her skunk.  I was interested.  We simply went over there, met the little guy and bought him, cage, stuffed rooster, teddy bear and all.  No, Sequoia was not consulted.

The new baby’s name was changed to Jeronimo because he would leap off anything and land running.  Jeronimo!!!

Jeronimo was about six months old.  Sequoia was eighteen months.  They were already the same size and Jeronimo hadn’t hit his growth spurt.

Sequoia running away from his baby skunk brother.

Over the blankies, Sequoia running away from little brother.

When we moved Jeronimo into his new home we didn’t wake Sequoia because this was a surprise.  We decided they could meet in the living room.  Fortunately, Jeronimo was in a cage on the floor when we woke Desquoia to come out and meet him.  I placed Sequoia on the floor next to the cage waiting for him to notice the new baby.

Sequoia scowled like those wrinkled dogs.  He screamed and stomped a hundred times and ran shrieking from the room.

“A baby brother to call my own?!!! Not!!! Not!!!!! Not happening!!!!!”

He snarled for fifteen minutes. No brother… no brother… no way.

Sequoia had to learn.  I understood.  Sometimes I didn’t think I wanted a friend or special person in my life, sometimes I would look close and say, “This is not happening, no relationship here… I’m out of it.”  I didn’t mean to be cruel, just self-protective.

Sequoia had to learn that his little crother was bringing a special gift, that someday he would love his little brother.

But right then Jeronimo was big and a baby.  Imagine Baby Huey only built like a fluffy dinosaur.  He was playful, he wanted to be loved.  And we could say that Jeronimo grew on Sequoia, but this is not the way it was.  Actually, he sat on Sequoia.

Sequoia continued to scream and run every time he saw his baby brother.  Jeronimo decided to corner his older brother where he couldn’t escape then sidle over to him backwards.  Ever so slowly and carefully the baby would sit on Sequoia.  Sequoia screamed and wiggled to freedom, charging to the other side of the house, hiding in my bed, in the closet, among the collection of puey slippers, behind the clothes dryer… he tried everywhere.

Jeronimo patiently followed, sniffing nose like a bloodhound, only to sit on him again.  Simply the baby’s idea of intimacy and mild aggression.  He would keep Sequoia warm, if only he was allowed.

Sometimes Jeronimo hauled himself into bed with me and find his older brother.  There was only a brief time when he was allowed to do this and for excellent reason.  My heart!

“There you are my plush and cuddly brother,” Jeronimo would say after poking the blankets fo find where his elder brother was sleepling. “I was looking all over for you.”

Pet skunks who grin like this are the smartest and dearest monsters of them all.

Wanna snuggle?

Contentedly he would crawl on top of Sequoia and settle for a nap.

Sequoia screamed like a teapot going off in the middle of the night.

Being awakened by a skunk squabble makes me cranky no matter how cute.

Though Sequoia didn’t ask for a brother, especially one that would sit on him, he eventually did tolerate being snuggled when he realied how warm Jeronimo could be when the cold winds did blow through the cabin in the woods.  Yes, Jeronimo ended up being fluffier and warmer than Mama and the two of them could sleep together all day long, year after year after year.

They became the best of friends, conspiring on everything and becoming the elders of the house that young skunks like Sage and Jazzy had to deal with in their own way when the pair of elders would scream for them to leave the castle… yelling that no one asked for a baby brohter or sister here.  “It’s not happening!” they would yell a the new baby skunks.  “Go away! We don’t want a pet baby skunk to call our own!”

But we just kept bringing them home.

From the book SKUNK MEDICINE: There’s A Skunk In the House! and Other Tail-Raising Stories.