Our prompt for The Podium for issue 3 of The Dragon’s Journal is:
If you were the head of a foundation with millions of dollars to give away, what global problem would you want to solve? Why?
The NEW deadline for submission is April 6th!
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Recently many skunk sightings and sprayings have been reported in Worthington. Striped skunks, the only skunks native to Ohio, have a mating season from February until the end of March. In Worthington, on the Colonial Hill’s Facebook page, people have reported smelling skunk spray or having their dog sprayed by a skunk. At least 8 cases of skunk activity were reported on that Facebook page since February first. These sightings often happened at night since skunks are nocturnal.
The striped skunk is easily identified because it usually has two white stripes going from its head down its back to its fluffy tail. All skunks release musk, a foul smelling and eye stinging liquid they spray from their anal glands with remarkable accuracy- with a spray range of 15 feet! In addition to being a defense mechanism, skunks spray each other during mating season when competing for a mate. Striped skunks are gentle creatures and they usually stomp their front paws, hiss, and/or raise their tails to scare off predators before spraying- all of which are good warning signs. Unfortunately, dogs tend to ignore those signs.
Another fairly common occurrence is skunks falling into window wells and getting trapped. This occurs because skunks have terrible eyesight and are awful climbers. The Connors family of Columbus, Ohio, had a baby skunk fall in their window well in the summer of 2016. They put a wooden plank down into the well so the baby skunk could climb out but the angle was too steep. Next, they put a towel down but that agitated the baby skunk and it started hissing. They tried building a less steep ramp using two planks and a box but the baby skunk still wouldn’t come out. They heard that skunks like Cheetos so they put some in the window well and at the top of the plank. That night, the skunk’s family came over and started eating the Cheetos at the top of the ramp. The baby skunk got jealous and, with new found determination, climbed out and was finally reunited with its family.
Many dog owners have experienced their dogs harassing skunks and getting sprayed with musk. It is almost impossible to get the smell of skunk musk out of a dog’s fur as my family experienced when our dog Daisy was sprayed one evening last year. After four consecutive baths and a trip to the grocery for more bathing supplies, she still smelled bad, but at least we could tolerate her presence again. A common misconception is that tomato juice makes the skunk smell go away when in reality all it does is cover up the smell. The Humane Society of the United States recommends a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap to help get the smell out. We used this with Daisy and it made a big difference, but you have to make sure to keep it out of the dog’s eyes when you use it.
Despite what these unfortunate encounters might imply, the Ohio’s Division of Wildlife reported in the Spring 2016 Furbearer Roadkill Surveythat the skunk population is actually declining. The skunk decline is primarily due to loss of habitat from human urbanization. They also stated that the skunk population is prone to fluctuations in population size. The report indicates that winter harshness and diseases are the likely cause of the population fluctuation. Central Ohio has had a very mild winter which might play a small role for the multiple skunk sightings this February.
Skunk Smell Remover For Dogs
Make sure not to get remover in your dog’s eyes
One quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
One tea spoon of liquid dish washer soap
Recipe summarized from the humane society website.
Once upon a time there was a snail. His name was Jerry and he loved to eat ice cream. He loved the silky sweetness that slid down his throat. Jerry’s shell was orange with red stripes and his body was gray. He lived in a cherry wood house that had red shutters and a blue door.
Out the purple back door was a small garden that had rows and rows of leafy green radish tops. You see, he loved radishes so much that he planted an entire garden of the spicy roots and leaves.
Past the garden was an orchard of orange-pink slippery peaches. Every year, on March 14, he made a steaming, hot, and delicious peach pie. Then, the orchard faded into the Spookley forest, the darkest forest around.
The red carrying ants came from Spookley forest to Jerry’s house, and told him that there were huge hungry beasts with yellow eyes waiting to eat whoever came past them. This scared the poor snail and so he never even went close to Spookley forest.
Now, to tell the truth, there weren’t any beasts, except maybe the owls at night. The only animals were squirrels, rabbits and their brethren. The trees of Spookley forest rose up higher than anything else, and had been alive for a very long time. They were redwoods, and they smelled of sweet pine.
Past the forest is the unknown land. It is what it sounds like, unknown. Once, a long time ago, a little rabbit tried to go there, but he got so frightened about what he saw, that he wouldn’t say a single word about it.
He died last year, on March 14, at 1:59.2 in the afternoon. There was a number made in his honor. It was the exact time of his death, and since he loved pies it was called Pi day. Every year, on March 14, people celebrate Pi day.
Jerry loved Pi day because it meant he could eat his peach pie. It just happened that that number could be used to find the area of a circle. Nice coincidence!
(Editor’s note: March 14th is officially recognized as Pi Day. This story was written in honor of the celebration. For more information, see the website of the Exploratorium, the place where Pi Day got its start.)
This is a story Devan and I wrote a couple of years ago. I like looking back on it, seeing my voice from a couple of years ago and seeing how we predicted what the future would be like. -Quinn P.
There was once a man by the name of Odysseus. He was an executive in an advertising firm called the Siren Advertising Co. His job was to watch the advertisements and see if they were irresistible enough. His only problem was that he was always temped too much by the ads.
One day while he was at work, Odysseus was watching a commercial about a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. “I need to buy an Egg McMuffin!” he exclaimed. He ran out the door of his office and drove to McDonald’s. “I would like three Egg McMuffins please.”
He came back to work, eating his Egg McMuffin, and watched the next commercial. This one was about a car: The Honda Odyssey 2013. Again, he ran out of his office to the local Honda dealer and bought the new Honda Odyssey.
When Odysseus got back to the office he sat down in his chair. He realized how bad it was that he spontaneously bought a new car even though his other car only had 100 miles on it. He asked some of his coworkers to tie him to his chair so he couldn’t go and buy something else. With a few dubious looks, his coworkers tied him to his favorite office chair. Then he watched the next commercial.
This one was about the new Apple iPhone 7. He tried to get out of his chair, screeching in agony as his brain was eaten up by the desire of owning the new iPhone, but he couldn’t because he was tied to his chair. Odysseus screamed, “I must get the new iPhone! Help! I must get it!”
He swung his arms back and forth to slowly move across the room. He finally got to the door and opened it. Next, he fell down the stairs, which broke the ropes tying up his legs. Odysseus turned his chair to face backward, and pushed with his feet to get himself moving. He sped along the many roads leading to the Apple store not even stopping for red lights. A police car chased after him, but he outran it. When he wheeled to the Apple store, he bought the iPhone 7 from a confused salesperson.
Once he got back, he realized that he had bought yet another thing because of a commercial. This time he asked his coworkers this time to tie him to the desk. Odysseus watched the last commercial. It was about a medication to improve sleeping. “AHHHH!” he wailed. “Let me go! I need to ask if this medication is right for me! Or just let me get it from the pharmacy, I don’t care, I just have to buy it!”
The terrified coworkers ran out of the room, but as hard as Odysseus tried, he couldn’t escape from his desk. Eventually, his crazed mind settled down and his coworkers could untie him. “Thanks guys,” he said. “That was the last commercial I’ll have to watch because I just got promoted. Now I just have to say our slogan; ‘We call you to our products.’”
And Odysseus lived for the rest of his life, happily reciting the Siren Advertising Co. slogan.