Posted 06-12-2003 at 04:33:56
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My son Jake took off about noon yesterday to go hunting for a hog. I knew he would be back, it was too hot to sit out there waiting for a wild hog to come along, so when he snuck up on the back porch and leaned his rifle by the door less than thirty minutes later, I was not surprised.
What did surprise me, however, was the little baby armadillo that he had clutched in his left hand. It was small enough that his fourteen year old hand went completely around it's midsection.
"What the heck is that?"
"It's a ..."
"Well....I know what it is, what are you going to do with it?" The little armadillos ears twitched as if he was real interested in what Jake's answer would be.
"I dunno. I just caught it because it was standing there by my foot looking up at me and I thought you'd like to see it. There was three more just like it, diggin' in the grove. I think we should turn it loose."
The girls, up until that point were semi-comatose on the couch. Next thing I knew the kitchen was full of bodies.
"Ohhh...it's so cute, can we keep it?"
"No..no, I think we should turn it loose" Jake said again.
I never heard of anybody keeping an armadillo as a pet. We've had raccoons, possums, wild rabbits, even an occasional snake, but never an armadillo.
"I'll have to ask your daddy."
Jake retrieved a wire rabbit cage from the shed and we dumped him in it. He proceeded to run from corner to corner trying to find the door and I got Fred on the phone. Told him what Jake had found, wanted to know if we should turn it loose. The girls had their noses mere inches from the cage getting up close and personal with something they had only seen from a distance to date.
"Heh...heh...heh.." He said. There it was again.
"Well, keep it or turn it loose, I guess it's up to you, but you need to know that armadillos carry leprosy."
"That's it! I knew there was something!" Jake about knocked the door off the hinges getting to the bathroom to wash his hands and the girls said in stereo...."Ewwwwwwwwwwww!"
"Get that thing out of here." I said. "Take the cage out front and tip it over with the door open by the tractor, let him come out on his own when he's ready, and you girls wash your hands."
"But we didn't touch it..."
I don't care, wash 'em anyway, and wash your eyes too." I said for good measure, shuddering. Then I disnefected the floor. Talk about you built in defense mechanism. I think Jake has been cured from ever trying to catch another armadillo, even if it does just walk up and sit down by his foot.