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Stunning Armadillos

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I often think, now, of my Grandfather and those times in south Louisiana and I regret not having had more contact with him during his last years.  He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. Only very few (close relatives) will understand that last comment.  The road mentioned is La. Hwy 317, the Bayou Sale road in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, which starts at Centerville and ends at Burns Point.

Trees still shade the road where Gramps and I once rode in his old green car -- I drove -- on dusky early evenings in my fifteenth year. We stopped, as he insisted, at spots where an armadillo scratched among the tender greenery in ditches. I was dispatched, with Gramps' strong wood cane, to kill a pesky armored creature by striking hard, once, upon its snout. Gramps waited in the car, called encouragement or condemnation: "That's it! Hit him hard!" or "Can't you do a damn thing right?" He knew I didn't like to kill but was determined to toughen up my softness. That hard old man was not accustomed to being crossed or contradicted. But part of him was tender, and he had a sense of what was right in the bayou country of his day. How could I tell him that I hated killing just to please him? Often, I killed, then killed again, although, at times, I'd miss the snout or be slow to follow up, and permit an armadillo to escape. Sometimes, I'd temper force with moderation -- I'd stun the creature, grab the tail, fling it far into dense bushes to revive and live another day. My grandfather eyed me darkly then, but often kept his peace. He gave me the treatment I gave those stunned armadillos. Could he have felt the same toward me as I toward them?

Copyright © | Year Posted 2011

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Date: 4/26/2011 1:46:00 PM
Very unusual topic... I've seen 2 armidillos from a distance in my life.. The drought brought them north into southern Missouri about 10 years ago. Interesting write.
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Date: 4/25/2011 8:54:00 AM
Oh! I remember seeing armadillos for the 1st ever a few years back when I lived in Texas. While not the most beautiful creatures on this planet, they seem rather docile. It seems you kept your "softness" despite your childhood :) (btw, I fixed my haiku - thanks for pointing that out!)
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Date: 4/24/2011 4:04:00 PM
Awww...poor amadillos, Leo. Your gramps was acting ornery? Some cultures think you shouldn't kill what you won't eat...I wonder if he'd enjoy eating one. I'm not trying to be mean...I'm confused. Maybe they do damage, we've none here, so I don't know. Happy Easter, wishing you the best! Mikki
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Date: 4/22/2011 9:52:00 AM
Wonderful memories here, i could see this as I read. good to see you here , great place to be. Anne
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Date: 4/22/2011 6:15:00 AM
Love this story poem !! A joy to read again. I need a stout cane myself, my yard is full of holes. lol Yes, I like this site and how it works. Morning Dew was a repost as well as Dare to Care. The others are new. Thanks for dropping by !! Nice to see you here too. Take care of yourself !!!
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