Maybe it was the allure of sand as a final resting place. Perhaps it was the comfort of the wooden slats as a place to prop its head.
The skunk had been circling the sandbox on one wobbly leg like it had been injured. A mulch delivery did not stir it, so I knew something was not right.
With my daughter coming home from school in a few hours, I did not want a skunk in our back yard, so I called Animal Control.
I kept an eye on the skunk, which would crawl in and out of the sandbox, seemingly making a decision on whether to stay inside on the sand or rub its back against the wooden slats outside, nestled in the grass.
Beach or grass? Grass or beach?
Then I watched it ease its body just outside the sandbox, resting his head on the side, face turned up toward the sun.
The woman from Animal Control poked the skunk with the end of our pool skimmer, said "she's gone," then placed the skunk in a bag.
It's just a skunk, but it was sad to watch it die.