Friday, August 08, 2008

Mystery Solved

For a couple of weeks now, there have been little conical holes drilled in our yard, with tufts of St. Augustine grass strewn about the lawn. Only a few at first, then in ever-increasing numbers the mysterious holes appeared every morning.

My first thought was a skunk, since I have smelled them in our neighborhood in the past, and from experience in my history, I know that they bore in their relentless search for grubs.

More and more, the minefield grew, day by day. As did my frustration. I would venture out at night to try to catch a glimpse of the little trespasser. Never did I view the deeds.

Every day, though, the holes were punched so perfectly in my turf. Another thing that bugged me was the fact that animals don’t do this kind of thing because you look at them funny when they cut in the line at WalMart, or if you accidently cut them off on the Bypass. Nope, they’re after food, and usually that means grubs.

My yard has grubs…dang.

Last Thursday, I went out just a little earlier to head to work, and lo and behold, there was an armadillo rooting up the divots on my property. I grabbed my camera and snapped a quick photo of the guilty party, then went out to confront him. As I approached, the little worker didn’t lift up its head even as a giant, booted enforcer closed on him.

Even as I reached out with my foot to wake him from his task, I was ignored. So I booted him in the behind, not a full-fledged kick, mind you. Just a slow-motion foot-lift under his shell. At that moment, as if awakening from a dream, the little dasypus novemcinctus gave the characteristic jump and then took off toward Larry’s truck, uttering the “‘dillo grunt” the whole way.

I am wondering if that’s the last I’ll see of the little critter; my parents’ garden out at Soderberg’s Farm and Chicken Resort is under attack from armadillos from all quarters, and there may be a family curse or something. The proprietor and head security officer, my Dad, has a couple of live traps that he sets up in prime traffic areas on their property. He even puts up landscape timbers in a squeeze chute configuration to funnel them in to the trap.

I have lost count of how many of the breed have been trapped, but suffice to say, their fate is not as gentle as the one my little vandal received.

And I think the lenient treatment may have worked; the rotund criminal has not shown his elongated face around here since. I hope for his sake, he didn’t go to my Dad’s place.


Rob V. said...

In some parts of East Texas, smoked armadillo is considered a delicacy. And the shells have many practical uses. Get one large enough and the shell can be fashioned into a very unique mailbox.

aA said...

If I had come upon this critter in the EVENING, the story may have ended differently indeed.

Of course, had I known that you like to smoke your armadillos, I woulda brung you it.

One question tho, when you smoke them, how do you keep them lit; don't you have to puff really, really hard?

DammitWomann said...

aa - That was darn funny. Looking at those critters reaffirms why i live in SoKal.