July 27, 2013: A Skunk Gift

My skunk identity began in the summer of 2008 in my Aunt Barbara's sun room on Lake Okoboji. My sister-in-law, Robbie, and I were vacationing and stopped over for a coffee. While Barbara brewed the coffee, we noticed the selection of interesting books on her end table. The one that particularly caught our eye was a book called "Medicine Cards" which included a stack of cards with pictures of animals. Hmmm…now that sounded interesting.

Barbara had always been a very spiritual and intuitive person. We were curious as to what this book was all about. It had to be a hit as it sat at the top of the stack and one that Barbara, our resident expert in such matters, surely referred to often. Barbara came back with the coffee and we inquired.

"Well," Barbara told us, "we all have a totem of animals that guides us and represents our inner being. They provide powerful insight and understanding to our unique purpose in life."

Wow! That certainly was something I had never learned in Catholic school. But there was more.

"Not only does each of us have a totem of animals that are unique to us and in touch with our being, but we also have a power animal. This power animal is walking by our side at all times. Once we know our power animal, a person typically realizes that this animal has been in our dreams or has been making appearances in our life when needed."

Now this was some cool stuff. At this point Robbie and I were begging for an animal reading. Clearly she had done this before and knew what she was talking about.

Robbie went first. Barbara laid the cards out, face down, and asked Robbie to follow her heart and instinct in choosing the card that would be her power animal. Robbie carefully selected a card...a muskrat.  Barbara read the description. Robbie and I were speechless. The muskrat nailed Robbie's current life circumstance and mirrored her personality. At this point I was anxious to find out my power animal. How could I be 40 and have no clue that I was missing this part of my life?

Although the pressure and anticipation was building, I did my best to choose exactly the right card that was destined to be my animal being. I flipped it over to reveal…a skunk. Really…a skunk? How could I be a skunk? This can't be good. Where is the eagle card?


Barbara read the expression on my face and quickly interjected, "Sandy, this is a very commanding animal. You are SO lucky to have this as your power animal". Alright, I waited to reserve judgment. Barbara then read me the description.

"The skunk brings us an awareness of self-respect. When we fully accept who we are and learn to express the essence of ourselves, without ego, we attract those who share our path and repel those who don't. Skunk medicine is about developing a good self-image. The physical and spiritual qualities of one with the skunk power animal are self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, creative energy, paying attention to intuition and inner knowings."

Now I was listening. It was really impressive. I liked the skunk. I wanted to be the skunk. I am the skunk! 

Robbie (The Muskrat), Barbara (The Card Reader) and Sandy (The Skunk)
On a later trip with Garrett and his dad, Larry, I joked that I should get a tattoo with my power animal, the skunk. Upon reflection Garrett reminded me that the placement of a skunk tattoo near or on my behind could be misinterpreted. Hmmm...a very good point that brought many laughs. My life as a skunk whisperer perhaps should remain a secret. But Larry remembered my affinity to the skunk.

Two months after our conversation on the skunk, I received a package at my work. It was bigger than a checkbook box, but not large enough to hold tax papers. Hmmm...this was curious. The label was handwritten. As I quickly perused the return label and saw "Brucker", I Immediately thought it was a gift from Garrett. I was a bit spoiled in this regard as a frequent recipient of cards, flowers and presents.

But the handwriting wasn't familiar. I looked closer and saw it read "Larry Brucker". Wow, a package from Garrett's dad with no clue on what it could be. I opened the box to find a furry black and white bundle with a yellow sticky note attached. The note read "Sandy, you will want to hang this up a bit and it should be fine.  It's been in a drawer a while ~ Larry"

I unfolded the treasure and realized that what I had in my hands was a genuine skunk skin. Yes, the real McCoy with little holes where the eyes once were and a little nose. I laughed so hard that my co-workers started gathering in my office to see what all the commotion was about. They were amazed by my gift. While they were all sifting through paperwork, pencils and highlighters; I was the recipient of a skunk skin! A never-before delivery at our office and I was quite proud...a gift like no other. Why, Larry Brucker, you have my number. And, yes, I am most appreciative of this treasured gift. Because, you know...I am the skunk :)

My treasured creature!


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