The armadillo -- part 2

Saturday, September 1, 2012

For over three weeks a resident armadillo has wreaked havoc with plants around the house. After the rain we received last week, he decided the yard was now soft enough and began aerating the lawn in his search for grubs. The twenty plus dollar bag of grub killer that I spread on the yard and on the plants did not work.

We followed up with a suggestion that armadillos do not like mothballs. Two boxes of mothballs spread throughout did nothing to slow him down. Meanwhile, the yard and my hands smelled like your grandma's hope chest where she kept all the sweaters.

Despite regular checks early morning and late at night we began to believe maybe he was a ghost as there had been no sighting.

Apparently good things happen to those who keep a sharp eye and at 9:45 p.m. last Tuesday, the wife said, "He's out there in the flower bed." This caused me to grab the 12 gauge and put on my miner's headlamp and go to the back yard. She saw him run under the deck. We both got on the deck and walked around and made noise with the idea that this would flush him out, no luck. Finally, by lying down on my side with my trusty headlamp, I could see the rascal by the foundation of the house rooting through the dirt like a pig on the farm. My wife said, "What are you going to do?" I replied, "We'll wait till he comes out from underneath the deck cause otherwise there will be a hole in the deck or a blast to the foundation of the house."

I went topside on the deck and stood watch while she kept watch at ground level and reported his travels. He looked like was getting ready to go out the south side so I'm poised ready for a dash on his part. He got to the edge of the deck where he stopped and looked around, no doubt traumatized by lights coming at him from above and on ground level. After about a two-minute pause, he went forth into the yard. I had to hold my fire because he was too close to the house.

He seemed to be in no hurry to get away. At about 15 yards, I pulled the trigger; turkey load of No. five shot echoed forth into the night and caused dogs within a half-mile range to bark wildly.

I told my wife, when you've had a successful hunt you're supposed to pose with your quarry, but I don't even want to get near this thing. I put it in a box and hauled him off. Later I thought I should have taken him to the highway and left him cause that's the only place I ever see them.

Sometimes these small victories are the sweetest. We just hope he doesn't have any angry relatives coming at us for payback