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Why the Skunk
Has a Stripe

 

 

Long, long ago … when the world was new and all the animals were new on the Earth, there were two small species of furred animals and they were all black … the cat and the skunk. Now the cat was happy being all black, but the skunk was not happy because people would call him a cat. He wanted everyone to know he was a skunk, not a common cat.

So one night when the moon was full, the skunk was complaining about the problem. It was around Halloween and everyone knows magical things can happen, when there is a full moon on Halloween. Well, Mr. Skunk asked his Indian friends, who knew about magic, for advice. They told him to ask Grandmother Moon for help.

That night, when the moon was full risen, he asked for help in a loud voice, "I want to be different so I will not be mistaken for a cat!" The moon was white and very bright and one of its beams fell on the little skunk’s back from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. Looking around at himself, he saw the "white light" of the moon and he said, "I love my white stripe!" So Grandmother Moon with her special magic made the stripe permanent, because everyone should be known for him or herself.

HO!

Old Turtle
10/19/86

 

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Moon photograph: Michael Myers
Skunk drawing: North Carolina State University