Where Do Ideas Come From?

Several years ago, my wife and I were upstairs in the bathroom of our home in Los Angeles when we heard a twittering sound in the backyard below. It sounded like birds or, perhaps, kittens.

We looked down below. It was nighttime and we could make out the black and white striped pattern of a mother skunk and four little babies. She led them to our recirculating fountain and gave them a bath.

A few evenings later, we were having dinner in the backyard when we heard a clattering sound. It was a skunk– just one this time- eating out of our dog’s dish just a few feet away. We didn’t dare move a muscle till he left.

About a week later, we smelled that stinky skunk smell in the backyard. One of the skunks had taken up residence under our house, just beneath the kitchen. Whenever anyone stepped out in the backyard, the skunk sprayed—as skunks do—in self-defense.

The skunk had found a home and had no intention of leaving. We called the Animal Rescue. A man came, set up a cage with peanut butter as bait. The skunk fell for it and was trapped in the cage. The Animal Rescue man then took the skunk away and set it free in the woods.

From that experience, after two or three years of incubation, came the story of “Smelvis, The Two-Scent Skunk.”