What comes here? A writhing ball of hair on twenty feet. (With apologies for the window-blurred photos.)
A mother striped skunk with her brood. The youngsters huddled around her, keeping their flanks pressed to one another. The whole mass trundled as one. When mother stopped to nose-poke the ground, the whole crew flowed forward to see what she’d found. Then, onward.
One of the four youngsters has a black tail. The others are white-striped on tail and face, like their mom.
And off they go, tails aloft. The young stay with their mother for two or three months, so these ones I guesstimate at 6-8 weeks. For a species whose adulthood is mostly solitary (the breeding season is a squall of screams and sprays, so little do they enjoy company), skunks start their lives with an intense cuddling-huddle-bustle bond with their families. Then hormones kick in, I suppose, with a burgeoning taste for perfume.
Collective noun: A charm of skunks.