Armadillos

2 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Pixabay

What is that strange creature, and where did it come from? Our local lore tells us that a circus train went through town in the 20’s and derailed and armadillos escaped from it. 

In our neck of the woods, they are so common and do so much damage digging holes in yards that there are legal ways to get rid of them.  We’ve had several encounters with them but the only armadillo that expired by our hands was the one that had his burrow started at the corner of the house. The length of it when finished could have come to as much as fifteen feet. The problem is that our part of Florida is all sand so it’s easy digging for a small creature made for digging. It wouldn’t take much to make the house tilt and who wants that? We turned on our garden hose and let the water pour into the burrow to flush him out, but our best laid plans failed because he drowned, and we were sorry. 

We rarely see them in the daytime, but some mornings when we go outside, we can see that one has been digging for worms in the night. We fill the holes and hope the critters stay in the woods where they belong. 

When we do see them in the daytime it’s like this: we hear a loud rustling in the weeds on the other side of the fence. When we find the source of the noise it’s always an armadillo crashing through as he looks for something to eat. If we get close enough and make enough noise, he’ll realize he has company and since he has bad eyesight, he gets up on his back legs and sniffs the air. That tells him he’d better get out of here. He then waddles away as fast as he can, which isn’t at all fast compared with many other small wild animals.

We’ve taken our various dogs for walks on the woods trail. Dogs love to get hold of armadillos and one of them, a beautiful German Shepherd picked an armadillo up in his teeth. The poor creature expired. It’s hard to believe that anything, even those teeth could get through the fatty scales on his back. My dear aunt who was with us on the trail looked back and the dog was digging a hole to put the armadillo in. She said,”He must be a Christian dog to want to bury it.” 

Our son and his neighborhood friends played in the woods so much they practically lived there. When they got old enough to carry BB guns, they shot an armadillo and cooked it over a campfire. Now that he’s all grown up he tells me it tasted like pork because of the fattiness.

The guys took a chance handling the armadillo because they sometimes carry leprosy. It’s not a terribly scary thing if you are treated with antibiotics early in the process. Isn’t that miraculous after the scary things we read in the Bible and other places about leprosy?

Armadillos are mammals. The nine banded armadillos we have here in Florida birth their babies into the opening of a burrow. They nearly always have four identical babies born from one egg that splits into four identical embryos all male or all female. They are born with their soft armor on. Mother armadillos are good parents and nurse their young. They are protective too and if the original burrow is in danger, they have been known to move on to another one taking their babies with them.  Yes, one at a time.

But just think: If present day armadillos were anything like their long-ago ancestors you would not want to have anything to do with them. They were as big as a Volkswagen Beetle so big that their empty shell would shelter a whole family. 

To Christians who believe in God as Creator of everything it is amazing to hear or see the things he has invented. I sometimes envision him at his work bench using his strong hands to make new creatures, or did he already have them all designed from the beginning? 

Leprosy

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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