Art’s Gift For Mother – Sleepy Skunk.
Hank secured the box to prevent the skunk from escaping. Art had put out his hands to break his fall and as he did he jammed his splinted finger into the ground. It was a painful reminder to Art and it was all he could do to keep from crying. His dad asked, You OK, buddy?“ Art shook his head in the affirmative even though his finger was throbbing in pain. Phyllis, who had followed them out, and had, unfortunately seen Art’s tumble down the step. She asked sarcastically, ”What the matter are those feet too big?’ Art thought of how nice it would be to reply and even thought of a cruel remark to make. But the reawakened pain in his finger had humbled him into silence for the moment. Phyllis crouched by the box and asked her father in sweet and sympathetic tones, “Do you think he is ok, the poor little thing.” Hank replied, with just the slightest exasperation in his voice, “Yes he is ok, now please go back in the house.” They were all distracted by the sound of a car in the drive way, they heard the crunch of the tires on the gravel before they heard the engine of Dr. Chenry’s big blue Oldsmobile. Art recognized the car and tears started to form as he thought “Oh no another butt shot.” He was still very much aware of the last one. Phyllis used the arrival of the Doctor as an excuse to disobey her father and stay in the yard. Hank looked at her squarely and gestured with his head. She understood what he meant but chose to ignore him and instead walked toward the car. Calling out as she did, “Good morning Doctor Chenry.” Using her affected ‘Gone With The Wind’ southern drawl. She continued, “Are you here to give Art another shot?” Dr. Chenry spoke as he opened the door of his car, “No I don’t think so but I do have some big sister serum here on special. Maybe your dad would like you to have a dose.” Phyllis glanced back and forth between the men’s faces and realized that they were having a joke at her expense. She said, “I have to go in now.” Turned and walked briskly toward the house. The doctor then enquired, “What are you fellows doing rolling on the lawn?” Hank explained about the skunk and Doctor Chenry laughed out loud. Turning to Art he asked, “Did you sleep ok? Art nodded ”yes“. Then he asked both of them, did you use any pain medicine?” Hank looked to Art to reply, Art offered, “Just one last night.” Dr. Chenry responded, “That’s good, but I bet it hurts now though.” Art replied, “Yes a little”, The Dr. took his hand and said,. “Just let me have a look.” Dr. Chenry started to unwrap the bandage. Hank asked, “Do you want to go inside?” Dr. Chenry replied, “No need, the light out here is very good.” In a moment the finger was exposed to the light and air. Art flinched as the Dr. started to pull a tape holding the splint in place. Looks, good, no infection; you won’t need this anymore and he pulled the splint away. The Dr. lifted his medical bag out of the car a put it on the hood and as he opened it he spoke to Hank. “Maybe I can help you with the skunk problem.” (He had seen something in his medical bag that gave him and idea.) Hank, responded, “What do you have in mind?” Dr. Chenry continued, “I could give him a sedative to put him to sleep and you could take the jar off and get well away before he woke up.” Art loved the idea; the thought of it made him think of the adventures of big game hunters and no one in his school had a story to top it. Hank asked, “ How do we do that?’ Dr. Chenry responded, ”You hold him and I’ll give him a shot.“ Hank thought a moment, realizing the worst that could likely happen was a scratch or bite from the skunk and the Dr. was right here to treat any wounds, ”OK“ hank said, ”Lets do it.“
Dr. Chenry was finished putting the new smaller bandage on Art’s finger. His father suggested, ”Art step back just in case he sprays, no need of us all getting stinkafied.“ Hank slid one gloved hand under the lid and in a moment had lifted the skunk jar and all out of the box. The Dr. prepared a syringe from his bag.
Phyllis was watching from the living room window. She saw Art step back and the Dr. getting the needle ready and thought Art was going to get another shot, right there in the drive way in front of God and everyone.” It was all she could do to not dance in delight, but she had to stay at the window, “Little brothers are good for something,” she thought. Then she could not believe her eyes, her father had pulled the cute little skunk out of the box and the Dr. gave the skunk a shot. Phyllis was incensed, “Fools ” she thought, “they gave it to the wrong skunk.”