Welcome to the Mustelid Assertiveness School of Kenosha (MUSK). I am Gary. And I am a stoat, otherwise known as a short-tailed weasel.  And I will be your guide through today’s confidence-building exercises.

Turn to page 1.

When someone gets in your face, the initial weasel reaction is to turn around and run.  I know you’ve all felt that, because I’ve been there, too.  Many many times.  You may be chased by a badger.  Or perhaps you’re trying to cross the street and a car is coming.  Sometimes it’s okay to run. It’s also important to remember that running is only one of many options.

Turn to page 2.

Sometimes it can be freeing to stand up on your back legs, throw your prehensile paws in the air any cry Eeeeeeeee!, realizing that even as a short-tailed weasel, you have skills.  You can cope with the things that life throws at you without automatically triggering your musk glands.

For example, you can run through the grass really fast.  You are very flexible.  You can swim like a crazy water-snake.  And also, you can follow other mammals down into their burrows and eat their food in a pinch.  Because you fit down those holes.  Not to say you should do this a lot, but if you have to, you CAN.

Turn to page 3.

Biting.  Biting should be used in moderation and also as a last resort.  I know you all know this.  But sometimes even the basics need to be reinforced.  It is true that we have teeth that need to be worn down, teeth that grow at an alarming rate and can curve around and dig into our upper palates if we neglect to gnaw them down on a log out of fear, or stubborness, or whatever.  Patty. We know about you.  Go get that fixed.

My only point is that, your teeth have to be dealt with and a log or a stump is your best bet.  Unless someone REALLY gets up in your face, or shaves your hair off, or fills your burrow with rocks, in which case I say you should bite the hell out of them and THEN run. And when they chase you down and hold you accountable, pretend that you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Turn to page 4.

Wait, sorry that was from an earlier handbook.   I’m sorry, this is an update.  My ideas have changed over the years.  Hang on just a second. (page page page page page)

Okay. Turn to page 42.

When someone gets up in your face, ask them if there is something they wanted to talk about, something that’s bothering them, unless, of course, at the same time they are shaving off all your hair and filling your burrow with rocks.  Then a nip and a step backwards should do.

And remember, if someone is trying to shave your hair off and fill your burrow with rocks..ultimately that is their OWN problem. Ask  yourself, what is really going on here?

Sidebar

Sometimes it can be helpful to consider if someone is really getting in your face, or you just think they are.  Do you have a need for conflict?  Have your teeth been gnawed down sufficiently lately?  Do you have unresolved issues with your litter of origin?

Turn to page–

Oh wait our time is up.  I hope you’ve been writing this down because I know how your brains are.

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