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Johnny Jones, 12 November 2003

Have you noticed more armadillos lately? I don't know what the Conservation Department would say, but it seems like I noticed more of the armored rodents, creeping farther north and east. Seems like we used to see them only in Texas and Oklahoma. Now they're common road kill here in Missouri. My niece Caroline says it's because they are without good sense - that when they feel threatened, they jump up to scare something. And when they "scare" the car, it smashes them.

And in Alabama, armadillos were tearing up my sister's Dothan yard. She hired a Critter Gitter but he couldn't seem to "git" them in his traps. Yvonne would end up paying the fee for a caged racoon or possum, and the meddlesome armadillos continued to go free.

The situation came to a head when our niece was out in Yvonne's backyard with a friend. The girls looked down from the lawn chairs where they were chatting, and saw two armadillos waddling by.

Ashton said, "I'm so scared! I'm so scared! I'm so scared!" just before she and Caroline jumped over the lawn table. Caroline ran out to the car where Yvonne was talking with Ashton's mother. "Aunt Yvonne! Aunt Yvonne!" she called, "Armadillos!"

A neighbor had suggested shooting the animals to Yvonne. Since the girls saw the hole the creatures went in, this was her chance! She went inside for the pistol, then fired some shots down their hole.

Dawn, Ashton's mother, ran up and said, "I think she's going to kill us all with that thing!" referring to Yvonne's gun.

When two armadillos ran unscathed out of the hole, Dawn said, "I'm a country girl! You need a shovel!"

Since Yvonne had tendonitis, Dawn took over. They all chased the armadillos around the yard until they had them cornered. The animals jumped up in the air, then Blam! Caroline said, "She bludgeoned them to death!" The shovel did its work, twice.

Dawn took the animals by the tail and tossed them into the woods.

Caroline said, "I was shocked!" Yvonne was, too. Even Dawn said, "My husband will never believe I killed two armadillos with a shovel today!" Dawn said she had never killed anything before.

Yvonne said, "She felt sorry for me. She saw my yard all torn up, and me unable to do anything because of my arm."

So when I see an armadillo, I can picture a pistol, a shovel, and my sister and niece.

Those armadillos better watch out.