If it rained, she was bothered. It it was cold or windy or hot, she was bugged. None of her friends could actually think of anything that made her smile or laugh, and believe me, they tried.
Every second Tuesday of every third month (unless it fell on an even numbered day - which would move it to the first Saturday morning that everyone could be there), they met to talk about new ideas they could try, and failed attempts of the past couple of months.
Well, in the meantime, Skunk knew that they were meeting, and since she didn't know what they were meeting about (and was never invited),that made her very upset, and even suspicious of all her "friends".
It just seemed like everything that anyone tried to do, even in love and honest concern for her wellbeing, was seen by her as a jab, and a dagger.
Once, squirrel made Skunk a beautiful cake, and it wasn't even Skunks birthday. It was strawberry inside with little chunks of cashews inside, layered with a coffee icing, then the whole thing iced with a dark chocolate cream cheese icing, and little white flowers all over it.
Well, Skunk ate a small piece of it, and was pleasant while Squirrel sat and chetted, but once Squirrel left, Skunk threw the rest of the cake away. She thought Squirrel meant by bringing a cake that Skunk was too skinny, or was addicted to sweet food, or something...she couldn't decide. But she was upset by it.
Once, Lizzard brought her flute and played a sweet little lullaby for Skunk. Well, Skunk immediately thought that Lizzard wanted to put Skunk to sleep, so she pretended to fall asleep.
When Lizzard saw that Skunk had fallen asleep, Lizzard quietly cleaned up the kitchen and tidied up the living room. Skunk kept peeking at Lizzard when she had her back turned. When Lizzard finally left, Skunk was sure that Lizzard thought Skunk was a messy animal and couldn't keep a clean house.
There was nothing that anyone could do that Skunk wouldn't assume they meant as a negative judgement on her character.
Well, the last straw for Skunk was when Froggie invited her to a "We Love You, Skunk" party. It was even held on a second Tuesday.
Skunk didn't RSVP, but knew that they were still going to throw the party. She had the idea that they were finally going to tell her she had to leave the forest.
Well, she was right...about the party still being thrown, but not the eviction.
As the Tuesday approached, Skunk prepared to show them all. She was going to finally let them how she felt about the...and it was not going to be pretty.
It took her a whole morning, and she even skipped lunch, but she finally found what she was looking for...Hemlock.
She gathered a handfull of Hemlock seeds and took them home. She crushed them into a powder, and added a little bit of water so that it made a paste, then she put it in a little acorn shell and stored it behind the pots and pans.
On Tuesday morning, Skunk sat at her kitchen table, with the Hemlock paste in front of her. She watched the clock. She had gathered all the pictures of the forest animals and set them up on the table.
There was a picture of Skunk and Froggie from when they went to the forest fair, and a picture of Stork and Squirrel laughing at Skunk's kitchen table. There was a picture of Skunk and Lizzard jumping into the pond.
She looked them all for a long time, thinking that they were all faking their friendship with her.
On the other side of the forest, Froggie and the others were putting the final touches on the decorations. They were beautiful. Garlands, flowers, a couple of cakes, lots of punch and cookies. Some of them had even brought presents.
Stork had the idea to make a card and have everyone sign it, and everyone had done that except for Mouse. Once mouse signed it, Stork put it on the table with the presents.
Once the time had come for the party to start, Froggie wondered what was keeping Skunk. Froggie sent Grackle to fly above the forest to see if he could see her on the trails.
Well, at the time the party was supposed to start, Skunk picked up the Hemlock and put it in her mouth and swallowed it.
She felt very proud of herself. She was going to show them. She felt like they disliked her so much that she was going to teach them a lesson.
As her mouth and throat started to get tingly, she thought of how Squirrel and Lizzard had wronged her.
As her mouth filled with saliva, she thought of how Froggie and Stork had done such bad things to her.
As her muscles started twitching, she thought of how badly all the forest animals had treated her and how judgemental they all had been.
As everything in her cozy little burrow started getting darker, she thought of how satisfied she would be knowing that all the forest animals would get a dose of their own medicine.
And when her breathing became shallower and harder, she thought she would finally go to the party and see if they had finally learned their lesson, but she could not stand up, in fact, she couldn't move a muscle.
Grackle didn't see Skunk on the trail, and he didn't see her anywhere around her burrow. When he finally landed and peeked inside her home, he immediately knew something was wrong.
He went inside and tried to wake her, but he couldn't. He looked at all the pictures stretched out in front of her on the kitchen table and smiled.
They never found any trace of the Hemlock, and all thought so highly of her. They were sad that her time had come so unexpectedly, but were all so touched by the fact that her last moments were spent gazing at her friends.
There was even a smile on Skunk's face.
She was finally happy.