Cancer then Critters

Alone at Culvers in Waupaca, the older woman ate her meal surrounded by cheerful families and groups . She appeared serious, even glum on this holiday Sunday but nothing else.

As she struggled to get up while holding her tray, I asked if I could help her. She appreciated it, standing up while I dumped the trash in the nearest bin.

Knowing not to ask the trite question “how are you”, I instead asked what she had planned for the rest of that day.

Almost as if she was primed for answering me, she opened up. “Just got through with cancer treatment so I’m back home now. All that’s behind me.” Not whining nor complaining, just matter of fact.

“Then I go home after weeks away and find something’s been digging out under my shed. Thought it was a groundhog, but it wasn’t.”

I had a guess but kept my mouth shut and listened.

“Come to find out there’s a mother with little babies.” Pause. “Skunks.”

In my mind I pictured four mini- football shaped black and white kits following mama skunk around the yard. Pictures are all I’ve seen of little skunks, never in person.

“Not sure what to do, don’t want them to spray.” She thought and then mentioned a live trap but knew that probably wouldn’t end well.

Little advice from me except to suggest she ask around her village of Wild Rose. “Call farmers, call friends,” I suggested. “They’ll have some worthwhile ideas.”

Wonderful lady, I wished her well as we went our separate ways. Cancer over, now critters to deal with.


One Reply to “Cancer then Critters”

  1. Small encounters like this cost us nothing, hardly even time, but makes such a difference in a person’s day when they’re struggling.

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