Sled Dog Skippy

Close encounters of the cute kind

Tonight, as I was scooping lots of dog crap in the yard, IN THE DARK, (okay, there is a yard light and I have a head lamp, but still the sun sets at 4:30 and it’s annoying), my bearded lumber-jack-like husband yelled my (birth) name across the yard. Which is weird in itself, because he rarely says my name, and he shouts even less often. So I immediately think “oh great, the boss is gone and one of the puppies was just eaten by a bear like a delicious gumdrop” or something like that. But no, he says “Come here. You won’t be disappointed!” In Alaska, that could mean I am about to witness any number of things. Good or gory.

I went into the garage and Ryan was under the boss’s big diesel truck, with his headlamp pointed into a tiny, square cut-out in the concrete. I heard chittering. In the cut-out was a small pipe. In the small pipe was a STOAT!!!! Or for those of you who prefer the other moniker: ermine.

It had it’s winter coat and was so adorable. It’s rapidly twitching schnoz came out, followed by glittering little eyes. It was MUCH smaller than I had imagined. I was hoping that it was actually a marten, one of my favorite creatures, but the ‘ol Wikipedia determined Ryan the winner in the “name this small, scuttling, long creature with stubbular legs” contest. Either way, I have now seen a stoat.

A call to the boss lady (in HAWAII! Oy, I am jealous) said please let said stoat live in the garage. He or she will happily devour the mice that are destroying the dog food bags and craftily avoiding death in mouse traps (which I totally oppose. I refuse to kill mice or even set the traps. The mousy trapline is the boss order; she had to pay $$$ to have her ATV clutch fixed after the mice built a summer nest inside the machine.).

For those of you who know me, you know that I have wanted an otter tattoo for some time. I am obsessed with furry, ferret-looking animals. Since the stoat encounter, I know want to adorn my body with a number of furry, long, weasel-like creatures.

What shall we name the stoat?

And newsflash: it’s been snowing since Sunday evening and it hasn’t stopped. I think about 6 inches fell and my awesome truck with new studded tires (translate, one paycheck worth of cash) got me out of the driveway and into town with zero problems. When I got to town it was like being in another state–it was RAINING. There is no snow in town. No blowing sideways wind. It’s unnerving to go through this weather transition twice a day, but I’d much rather live at 1500 feet with the wind and dogs than live in town any day. Really.

6 Responses to “Close encounters of the cute kind”

  1. tmc says:

    You didn’t say if you’d Eve’d the stoat as a girl or a boy.
    But how ’bout:

    Hunter (well duh!)
    Peyton (ahem, we are Hoosiers.)
    Carisa (that’s my boss’s name!)
    NotMeantToBeaCoat (sounds sort of Inuit, right?)
    Yevgeniy (Russian for Eugene)
    Sasha (Russian nickname for Alexander or Alexandra)

    If you get a pic, you can LOL it: Ize in yur garage, eatin’ all your meece.

  2. Skippy says:

    YAY FOR LOL STOATS! We must start a site. Perhaps we should be inclusive and call it “LOL Stubby-Legged-Long-Critters.” Doesn’t quite roll of the tongue like LOL Cats.

  3. Laura says:

    This was my favorite part of this post:

    “my awesome truck with new studded tires”

    I hope all is well!!

  4. katie v says:

    so, i always wanted a ferret…not so much to have a ferret, but to name it “Pickles.” pickles is my vote, or frank. frank is a funny name!

  5. Skippy says:

    Pickles or Scout, I think. Katie, I have also always wanted a ferret. Ryan is partial to all white ones with pink noses. I prefer the dark ones with the raccoon-like masks and brown noses. I think it is a fantasy pet, not possible.

    MK had a ferret named Knuckles. He wanted to steal kittens and put them in his cache of car keys and chapstick tubes under the couch.

  6. MK says:

    I LOVE THIS LITTLE GUY! I once had a blonde ferret named Knuckles. He was beautiful, with brown eyes. Please, Ryan, take pictures! I like Pickles…

    Thanks for introducing me to this little varmit!! ;D

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