“What’s wrong, babe? You look really tired – you ok?”
“No, not really. I was dealing with armadillo problems all last night.” I was grumpy after last night’s activities. I couldn’t believe she was seriously asking me if I was okay. Before we got married, I thought women were light sleepers, especially when they had children. Kind of a protective instinct thing. She had taught me that not only was I wrong, but I was apparently a little chauvinist.
“Armadillo problems? Are you sure?” I tried to give her credit for noticing I was tired and being concerned for me, but I was tired, frustrated, had a long day ahead of me, and couldn’t believe she was asking me if I was sure. She must have read all that on my face, because she slipped over to my side of the bed and started rubbing my shoulders. “Tell me what happened,” she said.
“Well, about two in the morning, I started hearing something scratching around under the floor.”
“In the crawlspace?” she asked.
“That’s right. At least, that’s what I thought. I tried to just ignore it, but it didn’t stop and I didn’t want the kids to wake up.” The shoulder-rubbing stopped briefly.
“I’m not going to apologize for not waking up,” she said tersely.
“I know, hon, I’m not saying you should. I’m just really tired, okay?” The shoulder-rubbing started up again, and after a couple of seconds, I felt it was all right to go on with the story.
“So, I grabbed a flashlight and went outside to look around a bit in the crawl space. Sure enough, it was an armadillo. It looked like it was digging a pretty big hole right under our bedroom. I about had a heart attack, too, because as soon as the light shone in its eyes, it jumped up and hit its head on the floor. I thought it was going to attack me!” I tried to ignore the stifled giggle from my wife.
“And, did this vicious armadillo actually attack you? Are you hurt?” she asked.
“Don’t make fun! I said I almost had a heart attack. It was the middle of the night and I was tired! I know they don’t really attack, but I still don’t want that thing bumping around under there and digging holes all over the yard.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” she said. “What’d you do, then?”
“I chased it.”
“You chased it? Did you catch it?”
“Hey, those suckers can run pretty fast!” I was a little defensive, remembering how stupid I must have looked running all over yard in the middle of the night.
“I’m sure they can.”
“And they hop!” I said, turning around to look at her.
“Oooh, they hop! Well, then, you were lucky to get out alive.” She was pretending to look really serious and concerned, and I couldn’t help but smile.
“Sure, go ahead and make fun of me all you want,” I said, laughing. “Next time you go out and chase it!”
“I won’t have to,” she retorted, picking up the phone. “I’ll just have a wildlife trapper come out and take care of our armadillo problem. Then, you and I can get a good night’s sleep. You know, without all the running and hopping.”