There’s a strange track in my garden. It’s eight feet long and an inch wide with a half inch depression. It looks like my husband dragged a one-legged, heavy chair across the garden. I didn’t ask the man who tried to catch wild animals with pink, yellow and green marshmallows why he would do such a thing.
I called my friend, Kathryn to discuss the strange track in my garden. I explained my chair dragging theory.
“Maybe it’s a snake. Does it undulate?”
I examined the odd markings. “It would have to be a killer snake. The track is wider and messed up around the dianthus.”
“It’s probably an arma…”
I shuddered. “Don’t say it.”
“Do you see any tracks?” Kathryn asked.
“I just told you about the track.”
“No,” Kathryn replied patiently. “I mean footprints. Arma…”
“Don’t say it!” I shouted and nearly fell when I bent over to examine the soil. There were four, ridiculous little prints beside the long track. A conclusion coalesced—I knew what body part of the animal made the long track and why.
“It’s the damn ‘dillo. The track is from him pushing his snout along the ground, sniffin’ for food." I sighed. "I should change his name to Super ‘Dillo since he’s back from the dead.”
“Julie, there’s no shortage of armadillos. I doubt it’s the same one.”
I knew she was wrong. This was the same armadillo. There could be only one arch-rival 'dillo in my lifetime. (Surely.)
“Nevermind the name change. The worms and grubs are hibernating. He’s still dumb if he’s trying to find food this time of year.”
Kathryn agreed before she hung up.
I showed the track to RJ. He found a longer one by our Vinca minor patch. “I think I’ll have better luck trapping him this time of year when he’s hungry and food is scarce.”
“Good idea, Hon.” I turned my head so he wouldn’t see me roll my eyes.
“We don’t have to shoot him if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“What do you have in mind?” I asked.
“Remember the duck recipe Grandpa Boyle told your Dad about?”
“Yup, Dad said we could use it for armadillos.”
“Your Grandfather’s discourse about the recipe took twenty minutes,” RJ said. “It wound around and around. Your Dad eventually got kind of bored and didn’t really pay attention until the end.”
I laughed. “Grandpa told Dad to put the duck on a board, season it with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, lemon, onion bits, bacon bits, rosemary, garlic, sea salt, oregano, basil, celery seeds, etc... Bake it and rotate the body every five minutes, sometimes cooking it at 250 degrees and sometimes at 350. Keep baking until very well done, even charred around the edges. At that point you can finally throw away the animal and eat the board.”
“I think this will be the perfect ending for our armadillo. Don’t you?” RJ asked.
“Absolutely, and I’ll be in charge of the cooking this time."
“Right,” RJ agreed. “Because nobody will be surprised when the recipe is ruined.”
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...