It’s a bird…it’s a plane…Nope, it’s just a super creepy skunk wandering campus in the night. For those of you who have somehow managed to walk our campus without spotting that telltale white stripe or fluffy tail, allow me to enlighten you: Cornell Skunks are everywhere. Cue the panicked locking of doors and drawing of curtains.


Fear not, Cornellians, because based on my own skunk experiences, our furry friends are absurdly entertaining, and seemingly harmless.


I’m not going to lie. If you’re walking back to your dorm late at night and stumble upon a skunk in your path, the ordeal can be mildly traumatic, despite its positive effects on your Snapchat story. Just last week an innocent food-truck run became high-risk when a furry black and white blob ran across the Balch Hall lawn and looked me dead in the face. I don’t speak skunk, but I’m fairly certain his eyes said, I want your burger.


All jokes aside, the stories I’m about to share are true. They sound made up, I realize that, but in my defense, these experiences are too fantastical to be a mere figment of my imagination. So sit back, inhale that sweet-smelling, skunk-stink free air, and read on:


For some reason, ever since I arrived at Cornell a mere month ago, skunks have seemed to be drawn to me. I don’t know what that says about me, and quite frankly I’d rather not contemplate it, but the evidence is indisputable. My exposure began at pre-orientation, when I participated in Outdoor Odyssey. On the first night, all of the participants camped out on the Arts Quad. You’d think there would have been safety in numbers, but this was sadly not the case. And then, in the night…the skunks came. *Cue dramatic music*


While several dozen college students were sleeping on the grass, one particularly bold skunk came and ransacked our backpacks. But wait–it gets better. After gorging himself on cinnamon raisin bagels, this skunk proceeded to drag his overstuffed, fluffy body across the grass to curl up on top of a sleeping student. This truly is the stuff of nightmares. While I was sound asleep in my sleeping bag, dreaming of campfire s’mores and ghost stories, a skunk was dreaming of cinnamon raisin bagels and unsuspecting undergraduates to spray a mere yard away from me. Since then, the Cornell skunks and I seem to be inexplicably linked, as this run-in was not our last.


Last weekend, I was eating candy and talking out of my window. This is not one of my usual activities, and I realize that this set-up sounds strange, but bear with me. Let me just say that communicating out of a window in real life is way harder than it looks in the movies. While attempting this feat, I dropped some of my Whoppers out of my window. Much to my surprise, just a few moments later, a skunk appeared below said window. From my upstairs perch, I watched as that smug little beast ate my Whoppers. He may have been mocking me, but he made my night. And thus my pre-existing admiration for the skunks turned into full on fan-girling.


My point in telling you these bizarre stories of skunk encounters isn’t to terrify you. In fact, I aim to do the opposite. Skunks are the creatures of legends. Next time you see that skunk making his way across North Campus, fear not. In fact, count yourself lucky. You may have just stumbled upon the most badass creature on campus.