Close Encounters of the Armadillo Kind

Have you ever seen an armadillo? Here in Texas I see them quite regularly. They are strange looking creatures. Rather prehistoric with their armor looking shell. They have a tiny little head, narrow snout, small pointy ears, and beady little eyes. Not exactly cute and cuddly, not even as a stuffed animal!

Normally, I see them on display as road kill lying on their backs four little legs pointing straight up towards the heavens. They are nocturnal animals, so you usually don’t see them during the day. By night they root around in the yard destroying the landscaping. They dig huge holes that can kill shrubs. One day last summer I saw my cat sitting on our back deck staring down an armadillo that was about 20 feet away from the deck. The armadillo was blissfully oblivious to the cat. I thought it strange to see the creature out during the day. When I opened the door to go out and investigate, my cat was suddenly filled with fearless abandon and charged straight for the armadillo. The armadillo made an evasive maneuver and managed to run under the deck before the cat ever got close to him. Though I don’t think the cat ever really intended to actually get close.

So this is where that scoundrel is living! Under my deck! Several days later I saw the armadillo out again. This time the cat was nowhere to be seen, and the armadillo was a good 50 feet away from the deck. I stealthily walked into the garage and grabbed a shovel. With his back to me and shovel in hand I quietly tippy toed my way towards the armadillo. As I got about 15 feet away from him a sudden thought flashed through my head. What exactly was I planning to do with the shovel when I got close to him? Unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to contemplate this. No sooner did the thought enter my brain then the armadillo spotted me! I took one step towards him and he charged me. I was screaming, jumping out of the way and wildly flailing the shovel around. I think I managed to land the shovel on his back once, but it just bounced off. He easily made it back under the deck. Yes, it was a sight to behold. This would have been a Funniest Home Videos finalist for sure! Now I realize that he didn’t really charge at me, but that I was merely standing between him and the safety of his deck.

Earlier this year our good friend and his daughter visited us. During their visit I taught her how to do stained glass. I also told them the about my armadillo encounter. They were back for a visit a few weeks ago and Kristen brought me a gift. She designed and created a stained glass armadillo. And this armadillo is ready to defend himself! Okay this may just be the only cute armadillo out there! Thanks Kristen.


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