Despite the book's drab appearance, which is not offset by the often blurry photos, Blassingame's report on skunks is interesting, lively, and at times amusing. Those who might have regarded skunks as one species will learn that there are in fact three genera, of which the familiar striped menace is only one. Others are the spotted skunk, which stands upright on its front feet and ""lets fly"" from there, and the hog-nosed skunk who feeds complacently on rattlesnakes. The striped skunk's major enemies, reports Blassingame, are the great horned owl, who appears to be immune to its odor, and the automobile, which confounds the skunk's expectation that all large animals will make way for it. Blassingame ends with a few cautionary words on skunks as pets and an entertaining discourse on skunks' relatives and their contribution (to ferret out facts, to weasel out) to our colloquial vocabulary.