The Armadillo Story
Good fences make good neighbors…
… as do husbands with rifles… but that’s getting ahead of the story.
eHEM…. The Armadillo Story, by Annie Gerber.
At first, I thought Jack was digging in the flower beds. Not that I got mad, really, since it was just a couple flowers, but Drew and I thought that chaining him up at night might be a good solution. What a disastrous night! Apparently, Jack was keeping an evil, horrible, awful armadillo somewhat at bay during the night, because the next morning, I awoke to find the strawberry bed, watermelons, two flower beds, and the oregano completely destroyed!
I can not convey the anger. I wept, collapsed, and wept some more. I held Jack on my lap and tearfully apologized for doubting him as the best dog ever. I pouted and fretted. I turned on the TV at 8 in the morning and moped for a good hour. I gave up gardening. THEN, I got mad, which is always a wonderful way to get lots accomplished.
Since Drew was gone, a fence would have to be my own handiwork. I watched him build one at our last place, so nothing could go wrong… 🙂
First, I measured and set corner posts. Then, I tied string and stretched it taught so I had a straight line for the middle stakes.
Then, I set stakes, 5 feet apart, and hammered them in with a T-Post driver, which will make any farmer laugh, since I was only setting in electric fence posts (about 1/2 inch diameter! Drew would just push them down into the soil without thinking about it.)
My father-in-law informed me that armadillos will try to dig under the fence, so if I stake the bottom of the fence down, they might stay out, so, by golly, I staked the heck out of that fence. basically, I took a length of wire, bent it in an upside-down “U”, and used it like a tent peg to secure the bottom of the fence to the ground.
Well, that night, sure enough, I saw that awful varmint again, so I called Drew and hysterically asked what I was supposed to do. “Well, shoot him.” So, I got out the 22 …
and tried to load it, which I didn’t know how to do. After several attempts to shove a bullet in, I had a sudden realization: “7-month-along pregnant women who don’t have a clue even how to load a dangerous rifle, probably shouldn’t be firing said rifle.”
So, Plan B…another phone call to Drew. “What do I do? I’m not shooting that gun!” “Well, just go scare him off.” So, in furious anger and utter repulsion, I ran full speed out my kitchen door and straight at the hideous beast, fully expecting to chase him ten miles off the property and terrify him to death (hopefully). Instead, he didn’t even look up from destroying my yard, and I came to a halt about two feet from him, spun around in horror and tore back into the house, with my heart pounding!
Yet another phone call… “Drew (pant, pant), he didn’t even MOVE! It’s possessed or something. What do I do?”
“Throw something at it.”
My next phone call went out only a minute later. “Well, he ran off.”
“So, did you hit him with a rock?”
“Good throw, Annie.”
“Not really. I literally stood over him and dropped a rock on his head!”
When Drew got home, he and a buddy spent one whole evening out on the porch with their guns loaded, but no armadillo.
About a week later, when Drew was once again, gone, I SAW IT AGAIN!!!! It was digging under my garden fence! So, 10:30 or not, I called my father-in-law to come over and shoot the stupid thing! 10 minutes later, my FIL parked 1/4 mile down the road (not to spook the beast) and walked up. I crept out of my house and walked him to where I saw the armadillo. It was still there…
Well, THAT was embarrassing! I could have sworn that the pile of ropes was the armadillo. Of course, my FIL was gracious and didn’t tease me AT ALL! 🙂
Thankfully, the fence stayed strong, and FINALLY, when Drew got home, I saw the armadillo again (the real one) and my mighty husband slew the dragon!
I replanted the strawberries and watermelon and all are doing well.