If I could pick any animal spirit guide, I would choose the fox.
I like foxes with their red coats, black feet and bushy tails. I like that they’re clever and sly. Good characteristics for a writer. I like that I’ve never felt threatened by a fox.
Too bad we don’t get to pick them; they pick us. My animal spirit guide came to me through a dream.
In the dream, I’m in my yard with my dogs, playing with the frisbee. It’s early evening, with the sun casting a warm orb of light above the trees. I notice a skunk ambling from the bushes. My first thought is of my dogs. My youngest dog had already sprayed by a skunk this spring and I don’t want a repeat performance. I rush the dogs into the house and then go back out to keep an eye on the skunk. I want to see what direction it heads.
The skunk waddles towards me and I try to move away but soon it has trapped me between the woodpile and house. It comes closer and like a cat, it rubs its face against my leg. I don’t move. I don’t want to be sprayed either. I hope that by staying perfectly still, the skunk will determine that I’m not a threat and will move on.
Instead, the skunk snuggles closer to my leg. I swear it may be purring. Gently, I move my leg, not to startle it, but hoping that it might get the hint. But when I touch the skunk, it grows slightly larger in size.
What the hell?
I decide to make a dash for the door and hope for the best. But when I try to move, the skunk blocks me and grows larger again. I’m desperate now so I throw all caution to the wind, and kick at it (although in reality, it was more like a gentle nudge) and say, “scat!”
The skunk grows larger, to the size of a forty-pound dog. It grabs onto my pant leg with his mouth, and although not biting me, holds on tight.
I don’t know what to do when I hear Kim on the pool deck – she must be cleaning the pool. I’m instantly relieved as I know that she will figure this out. Whatever spirit animal Kim has, it comes with weapons.
I scuttle up the stairs to the deck with my skunk friend still attached to my leg. Kim turns at my call and seeing the forty-pound skunk at my side, begins to laugh.
“This is serious,” I say, getting angry. “It won’t leave me alone.”
She’s double over in laugher and tears come to her eyes. I’m really furious. I need her to take me serious.
“It could bite me,” I tell her, hoping that a threat to my safety might jar her into real action.
“But it’s not,” she says.
I wake up. Really? The skunk is my spirit animal guide? What about my fox?
After doing some research, I realize that having a skunk as a spirit guide, is not as bad as sounds. Skunks are very independent creatures and are associated with self-confidence, inner strength and balance. Since they use their weapon (their spray) as a defense and rarely for aggression, they symbolize non–violence action. No snapping of the pencil when frustrated!
The skunk fiercely protects their home and family. They’re comfortable with solitude. Their black and white fur can represent seeing things with clarity. As a writer, having clarity in my writing is important and lately, I’ve been scattered and unfocused. I decide to accept the skunk as my animal spirit guide to remind me to have confidence in my writing, to accept rejections as temporary set backs and have the courage to write the stories I want to read.