Lit: A Sand County Almanac

by Andrew Keys on January 28, 2010

North of Boston, the January thaw has come and now seems to be going, and I can think of no one better to usher it out than Aldo Leopold, who followed the tracks of a skunk that’d awakened during a January thaw many years ago.

The skunk track leads on, showing no interest in possible food, and no concern over the rompings or retributions of his neighbors. I wonder what he has on his mind; what got him out of bed? Can one impute romantic motives to this corpulent fellow, dragging his ample beltline through the slush? Finally the track ends in a pile of driftwood, and does not emerge. I hear the tinkle of dripping water among the logs, and I fancy the skunk hears it too. I turn homeward, still wondering.

—Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac.

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