*Another one from the archives. Sorry.
Living in the sticks, we expect to see all kinds of critters. There’s the hawk that uses the front pasture as his (or her?) hunting ground, various rabbits that frolic everywhere, deer, turkey, feral cats that multiply like frolicking rabbits, foxes, coyotes, etc. Well, last Monday night the girls (my dogs, Sophie & Abbie) got out and went on a grand adventure. Eventhough we have a sprawling expanse of 5 acres, we still keep them in our fenced backyard because of predators (like the hillbilly neighbor with a shotgun and nothing better to do). So when they do make a break for it, I imagine them running and sniffing and hunting and saying things like “I can’t believe the short kid actually opened the gate for us!” “Yep, we just have to be diligent and not let these opportunities pass us by”
Ok, maybe they don’t use the word diligent, but I’m sure their conversation is somewhere along those lines.
Veering back to the story, by the time Matt got home late from work (yay overtime!) the girls were safely back in the yard and about to pass out from exhaustion. A little while later he hears them barking and barking. Not just a “I’m barking because I’m bored” bark but a “Holy crap there’s something out here that is about to eat us!” bark. When we get outside we see them standing by a bush and barking at it. I, being the good and dutiful wife, stood on the deck with the spotlight while Matt checked it out. This is what he found:
An armadillo wandered in while the gate was still open. That thing was scared and digging for all he was worth! We tried to get him out but failed miserably. The next day I had to take Abbie to the vet so I locked Sophie inside and left all the gates open, hoping it would wander back out. Nope. By Wednesday it became obvious that he liked his new digs and wasn’t going anywhere. In the meantime, Matt did some research and discovered they can carry all sorts of little nasties like leprosy and salmonella. So as we’re discussing what to do about it, he says “I could get the shotgun and blast it.” To which I reply, “Um, no. I don’t want leprosy and salmonella bits scattered in the backyard.”
Later that night we got our chance to evict him.
About 10 p.m. I was washing dishes when Matt darts past me and says “It’s out! Come hold the flashlight!” I again stand safely on the deck and find the armadillo walking along the fence line, getting closer and closer to going under the deck. Matt has gone to get a shovel and I thought “I can’t let it get under the deck!” So what do I do? I start stomping and jumping up and down to scare it. I really think it looked at me and said “Dummy.” But Matt gets back and after a little wrestling with it, he gets the armadillo in the shovel and pitches it over the fence. It starts for the road but Matt feels he needs an escort. So, I keep the spotlight beam on him and every few feet I hear chink…..chink……chink……chink….the sound of Matt, with the shovel, helping him on down the road.
As Matt is walking back, I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight I saw. (Wish I had a picture but I was too busy being the big, bad flashlight holder. And laughing hysterically.) Here comes Matt, shaved head, beard, no shirt, gray shorts, brown work boots, carrying a shovel on his shoulder. I swear that if the sheriff would have come by at that moment, he’d ask where was the body buried.