When Prairiewolf came in at dawn on Sunday morning and quietly announced that he had dispatched the armadillo, all I could think of was, "The armadillo is dead! Long live the armadillo!" In the typical fog that attends my earliest morning thinking, I couldn't remember what the original quote actually was, or where it came from. Eventually it came to me that I had reworded the salute that is traditionally given when royalty dies.
Not that "our" armadillo was royal (unless you count acting like a destructive force as royal behavior), but the phrase contiued to echo in my head all that day. Finally that evening, I sat down and typed in a blog entry, both celebrating and mourning the passing of the armadillo.
Then fate took a hand. As I finished the blog entry, a thunderstorm was brewing. When I tried to post the entry, we lost our internet connection and my blog entry disappeared into that cyber-nothingness from which there is no return. In fact, fate was really feeling spunky that evening, because it turned out that something in our DSL server had been fried seriously enough that we didn't get internet service again for over 24 hours.
In the meantime, the next morning I decided to do my normal morning walkabout, looking forward to the first clean-hands venture in weeks. (After the armadillo had been rooting around, every morning walkabout included filling in holes, smoothing mulch back into place and sometimes replanting entire uprooted plants.) As I started out, strolling by the butterfly garden, my heart sank. There was a fresh hole in the grass. A little further on, there were a couple more holes, and over in the fern bed it looked like a little boy had been playing with his frontloader between all the plants and along the front edge. Several of the holes were 6" deep and 10-12" wide, at the base of some of my most delicate plants. All the holes were fresh. An armadillo had definitely been at work. Again.
Prairiewolf assures me that it can't be the armadillo that he killed Sunday morning, so we are left with the inescapable conclusion that we had more than one "little armored one" dining in our garden. We've spent the last two nights getting up several times throughout the night, trying to catch the second one in the act of foraging, but so far we've been unsuccessful. We'll keep on trying as long as our less-than-young bodies can take the lack of sleep.
"The armadillo is dead! Long live the armadillo!" I guess the phrase ringing in my head was prophetic after all.