WEST PARIS — As Becky Ball and her 16-year-old son drove along Route 219 early Thursday they spotted a skunk in the road with a white cup firmly stuck over its head.

It walked back and forth on the pavement, shaking its head, trying to dislodge the cup without success.

Carlton Dailey, a rising junior at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris, told his mother to stop.

She said her son wanted to help the skunk out of its obvious predicament.

Ball said she told him “you’re crazy and out of your mind.”


She said she warned him, “If he sprays, you will walk home.”

Carlton Dailey, 16, removes a cup stuck on the head of skunk Thursday in West Paris. Submitted photos

Ball’s photos show Dailey carefully approaching the animal, bending over it and pulling the cup off.

The skunk scurried off without leaving a noxious cloud behind.

“‘See, Mom, he knows I was helping. He did not spray,'” Ball said her son told her when he got back in the car.

“He was lucky,” his mother said.

Travis Palmer, who taught Dailey world history in the past year, said Thursday that he is “not surprised at all” that his student opted to help.


“Carlton is a very helpful individual,” Palmer said. “He cares about the well-being of his peers in class, so it’s no surprise his caring nature transpires to animals as well.”

Ball said her son is always kind to animals.

On their farm, she said, “he would stay up all night long” to stay with an animal who needed him.

Experts warn that approaching a skunk can pose dangers. They are sometimes rabid or carry some other disease that could potentially harm a person.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: