Sunday, November 24, 2013

Louisiana: Armadillos, Undead

I was surprised to hear a small chuffing sound, then movement in the brush on yesterday’s trail walk at Lake Fausse Point State Park. I looked down and over to see not an American alligator, but an armadillo. Undead.

Undead. Imagine. Heretofore, I’ve only seen them dead.

Dead armadillo, Missouri

A few minutes later, continuing on the trail, I practically stepped on an armadillo. Also alive. Its apparent cluelessness about the prospective danger of a bipedal carnivore might explain the large quantities of its dead brethren on the roads.

Before my walk was done, I’d seen two more of the critters, both living.

This reminded me of Kate’s story about when she and Pam went on a safari about 10 years ago. It was the very first day of their very first safari, and right off the bat, they saw a herd of gazelles. The driver intended to keep driving, but Kate said, “No! Stop! I want to see the gazelles!” The guide said, “Kate, we will see so many of these, let’s continue without stopping.” But Kate said, “No, really, we must stop.” ….She took many photos before they drove on. …. It wasn’t too much later in the day when Kate, after seeing innumerable gazelles, saw that it was best to continue.

And so it is that my interest in a living armadillo evinced a sharp incline, a peak, and a rapid decline, all within the space of a quarter-hour.

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