Beneath low hanging willow oak branches and hidden by tall grass lives a family of strange animals called Polecats. Izod is one of the males and he lives with his parents and siblings. Izod was born several years ago and is disliked by many people who live nearby. It is not his small furry body that causes people grief nor is it his short mussel or rounded ears. People around the southern parts call Izod a POLECAT because of the unpleasant smell he leaves behind him.
A polecat is a member of the weasel family and they mark their territory much like a dog marks his. The difference is that a polecat like Izod rubs his behind against trees or rocks leaving an awful odor which can last for weeks. People who keep them for pets usually take them to a veterinarian to have their anal glands removed thus ridding the pet of the fetid odor.
“I’m not having my anal glands removed. I’m keeping my body just like it is now!” Squealed Izod as he thought about the sensitive operation.
“You are a real hoot Izod! You know you would rather live in a big condo in a plush cage than to be hunting for food daily out here in this hot sun!” Trexor laughed as he gently checked to see if his behind was in working order.
“Not for one moment! God made me with this oil and I will rub it all over these trees around here. That is how I keep other animals away from my stuff. All they need to do is to get one sniff of my potent oil and they head for the hills! Izod snorted. “Heaven’s forbid they get any on their coat for it will hang around with them for days. I reckon that is why people call me a polecat. I never have figured that out. I’m not a cat and I don’t sit upon a pole so I don’t know how that came to be.”
“Humans call animals all sorts of names. Didn’t you know that? They do the same thing to themselves. I hear them calling some humans crackers, some blacks, some spicks, some injuns, yanks and all sorts of weird names. I’m sure some of them do not smell like honeysuckle blossoms either. Mom told me once that she hid in a barn while a farmer fed the cows and horses. She said he smelled just like tobacco. Go figure that one out.” Trexor smirked bashfully.
“They don’t have a smoke stack on top of their heads but they keep tobacco rolled in paper stuffed in their mouths all of the time. It just doesn’t look like that would be a healthy thing to do.” He said turning his small head from side to side.
“Well they can call me whatever they’d like but the fact is I am just like my cousins the ferret. Some even call me a wood pussy, you know like a pussy cat or a skunk. We get a bad rap when all we are trying to do is try to keep things from harming us. It is a self-defense thing don’t you know?”
“Yep I know that and you know that. Maybe someday the humans will catch on.” Trexor mumbled as he moved slowly along through the tall grass.
“Let’s go down near the creek and see what kind of food we can find. Do you think the humans know we are flesh eating animals?” Izod asked rolling his eyes.
“They said they have something called Google now so I figure they will know sooner or later. They eat meat too so what’s the big deal?” Trexor questioned. “Anyway we have relatives all over the world. Mom told me we have cousins in England. Now that is cool don’t you think?”
“It sure is great to know we have family near and far. Some animals have been hunted until they are dying out just like the dinosaurs. They trap the mink for its fur and make coats and hats out of it for them to wear. I have a really swell coat and I am going to keep mine as long as possible. I’d hate to think some woman would be wearing me on her head one day. How cruel are these humans?” Izod frowned showing his dislike for such distasteful actions.
“The next thing you know they will be up in arms about your name!” Trexor giggled.
“Dad told my mom she should not name me after an alligator shirt but she is a typical female. She never listens!”
“Maybe Mr. Izod will have you stuffed and put you on his desk one day!” Trexor teased.
“Nope! I’m planning to go deep underground pretty soon. I don’t care what I’m called. I’m hungry right now and I’m going to find some food. Are you coming or not?” Izod called as she began to run ahead of Trexor.
“I’m right behind you, brother.” Trexor smiled as he picked up speed.
So it came to be that Izod and Trexor the southern polecats combed the creek banks looking to fill their tummys with fresh meat before nightfall.
Izod is growing by leaps and bounds and outwits the hunters in his area on a daily basis. He still marks his territory by rubbing his behind on the trees and rocks. Now however, he laughs so hard he has to hold his sides each and every time he does so. His coat is a beautiful black color with yellow streaks and blotches on it. He keeps it groomed daily. Polecats have short muzzles, rounded ears, and sensitive whiskers. They also have a very keen sense of smell, and weak eyesight, using their sense of smell as a primary navigational tool.
Word has it that Izod is courting a young female and plans to have a big family. So if you happen to be walking through the woods and you smell a very obnoxious odor, it just might be Izod or one of his kin like the skunk or the civet rubbing their behinds on some trees. Watch out because you are getting much closer than he wants. Getting sprayed with his oils can be a very unpleasant experience.
In real life there is a true polecat such as the European Polecat and the Steppe Polecat. They all have anal glands on their behinds that can produce strong bodily glands and they will not hesitate to share some with YOU.
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Copyrighted May 2011
Question: What is another name for the skunk?