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Posted December 6, 2009


Woke up this morning and pulled the drapes to see the ground blanketed with snow. I haven't seen a December snow in years.

I eased out the back door with my camera to snap pictures before my critters could find me. Close to Mr. Peter Rabbit standing sentinel at the entrance to the deep piney woods, I felt something tugging at the back of my clog. I couldn't move forward. Turning around, I saw that Rascal had his paw firmly planted on my shoe. He said, "Don't go into the woods, Mom. I spotted somebody fleeing into the back forty last night wearing stripes."

"Yikes!" Peering through the dark opening of the curtain of green burdened with white, I felt a cold blast of air and eased back. "You think maybe a convict has escaped from the penitentiary?"

Rascal shook his head. "No, I think it was that skunk that sprayed close to your bedroom and stunk up the clothes in your closet ." He sniffed at my jeans and made a face like he'd just tasted week-old roadkill. "You're still smelling kind of funky and I'd wash that animal print sweater you're wearing if I was you. While you're at it, toss in that white Chenille bath robe. And FYI, Maverick's been snickering and saying you needed a bath. Whew! I believe him!"

I didn't try to hide my annoyance. "Well, next time Rascal, could you please stand and fight like a man? I've been asking all of my friends to sniff my clothes to see if I'm still wearing "Eau de skunk." Chanel No. 5 can only disguise so much. Miracle, by Lancome, just made the smell worse. So much for miracles." I had to throw in one last jab. "Dude, you're lucky I can't hurl lightning bolts!"

Rascal stood on all fours, a hang-dog look on his face. The kind of look he always wore when he felt like he hadn't done his job right. Like he wasn't worthy. When he felt like he'd let me down. It didn't last long. Within two seconds he was back to wiggling all over and nudging me to pet him, licking my hand with relish, to see where I'd been. I scratched between his ears and gave him a few love pats to let him know I wasn't mad.

"I was only poking fun, little man. You're worthy! And I've never seen any dog more loyal. Sometimes a skunk will just sneak past you and before you know it, there's stink on everything. Look what happened at the White House not long ago. Two skunks who weren't on the guest list strolled right past security. Stuff happens. Don't feel so bad. I'm lucky you and God love me through all of my stink, even if Maverick's being stand-offish. Lord knows I've let God down plenty of times. Now that I think about it, not only have I smelled stinky, I've been a stinker. Thank goodness God didn't hurl anything but only scratched between my ears."

Rascal wagged his tail faster, looking like a repentant sinner who'd been on a three month backslide. He knew he'd been forgiven. He looked up at me head-on, excitement lighting his eyes. "Mom, can we drag out the sled and wake up Maverick?"

I said, "Give me a minute. I have to capture Old Blush and the Camelia blossoms while they're cloaked in snow. Aren't they beautiful covered in white?"

A bewildered look crept past his eyebrows, wrinkling the hair on his forehead. He'd never pondered such a question. "But they're already captured - by the ground." The puzzled look on his face refused to go away. He wagged his tail with some hesitancy.

"Yes, Rascal, they are captured by the ground. Smart dog. But I'm going to take a picture of them with my camera and it will capture them wearing white forever, or at least until the picture is destroyed."

The little stray who'd wandered in years ago walked with me patiently as I strolled around the farm, pondering God's creation robed in white.

I stooped to scratch between his ears again. "By the way, where was Maverick during the skunk episode?"

"He stayed in the garage. Said chasing skunks wasn't in his job description."

"And just what does he think he's supposed to do for two squares a day?"

"He said he was just a bird and squirrel dog. Won't do possums either."

"Just like a lazy hound." I walked to the porch and dusted snow off the bottom step. Rascal wiggled over and licked me on the cheek. "You know Rascal, one day I want to get into heaven and wear white. I don't want to sneak in past security, though. I want to float in and have my eternal picture made because I'm worthy. What do you think? Think I'll make the cut?"

Rascal stuck his cold nose behind my ear. "Like I said Mom, you might need to wash some laundry. I heard angels don't let skunks in. It takes forever to get stink out of hair, much less feathers. Can we find the sled now?"

"They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy." Rev 3:4b

(P.S. - Thanks to all my trustworthy human friends who were honest and told me the truth when they so graciously sniffed my clothes. I especially would like to thank the friends who had noses sensitive enough to distinguish between skunk and polecat. It takes a true friend to say, "P. U. - You stink!" Thank the Lord, Rascal loves me no matter what odoriferous perfume I'm wearing and also, thank the Lord for loving me too, through all my stinkiness. I know I'll get emails about this, so, I'll just say right now, that most of this story is God's truth. The other is part snowball. Rascal can't really speak out loud. He communicates through mental telepathy. Either that, or he writes me messages in chalk on the driveway. His favorite chalk color is chartreuse. Right now, his Facebook profile reads, "Relationship Status: It's Complicated - she's a real dog.")

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