Friday, January 7, 2011

Billy the Armadillo

Our wooded yard abounds with squirrels, birds, and chipmunks. We even had some flying squirrels take up residence in our birdhouse a few years ago—very cool.

Last week, though, we discovered something new—an armadillo digging a hole in our fenced-in back yard. The girls and I were all on our back deck moving a ladder when Katie looked down into the yard and screamed, “What is that creature!!!"  Sure enough, an armadillo.

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Allison was thrilled—despite living in Mobile, she had never seen a live armadillo. For some reason, armadillos are her favorite animal. She despises opossums, though. Personally, I think an armadillo is just a possum with a shell! Our new “pet” has been named, “Billy.”

A bit of excitement followed when someone let our cocker out. She chased the armadillo in circles around the yard until  it jumped back into the hole (which didn’t go anywhere) and shot some dirt into Velvet’s face. Armadillos can run pretty fast—I think it and the dog were pretty well matched in the chase. I suspect  the armadillo would have come out ahead in an altercation, though! Do they bite?

We’ve only seen armadillos in the past few years here in north Alabama as they are working their way northward.

Interesting fact: Allison tells me that armadillos can carry leprosy. So don’t cuddle with one!

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