How I found myself sitting in my driveway at 1:00 in the morning with a loaded rifle across my lap is a short story that can be summed up in one word.
Armadillo. Or more specifically the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).
He drew first blood.
I’m sitting here in my small town Georgia bliss minding my own business when out of nowhere, divots. All over my pristine, immaculate lawn divots the circumference of a saucer. The sod torn up leaving a hole just big enough to be very, very annoying.
I tried mediation. I sealed up every spot under my fence through which he could launch his nightly raids. He only redoubled his assault mocking me with his ability to appear out of the ether to continue his nefarious nocturnal munching before vanishing back to whatever hole he called home.
I considered using a trap but scuttled that plan when I realized I didn’t have one. There was only one option left. I would have to launch a projectile at more than twice the speed of sound into his abdomen with extreme prejudice. A bushwhacking was in order.
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. . . Oops, sorry, flashback.
It took about two weeks of nocturnal missions until last night I finally had him in my crosshairs. He crossed my perimeter not realizing his nights of digging divots were about to cease. But he didn’t come alone. Another armadillo from his squad came with him. There was no safety in numbers.
In the end it was not really a fair fight. My ruthless cunning, my well-honed killer instincts, my bigger brain sealed their fate. They are now a part of the circle of life taking a dirt nap in the empty field next door. I love the smell of de-lifed armadillo in the morning.