Dad groaned, and I could tell he wasn’t convinced yet that it was a great idea to keep the armadillo, much less keep it as a pet. My baby sister, Emily, is usually very convincing when she wants something, and because she’s the baby in the family, Dad usually gives in. Mom doesn’t, but Dad will, and we had a better chance with Mom if we could just get Dad on our side.
But, it would take some major pleading to keep Dad from getting rid of the armadillo. Over the last few weeks, he’d been angrier and angrier about our yard. He thought it was a dog at first, because big chunks of grass and dirt were dug up and thrown around. He almost confronted our neighbor, even, who had a big Doberman. Good thing he didn’t, because one day we noticed some of our trees were getting torn up, bark pulled off around the bottom. Oh, man, was Dad mad then! No dog does that, and after a lot of online research, Dad finally figured out it was probably an armadillo.
The way Dad ranted and raved, we all figured it would turn out to be some kind of monstrous wild creature, but when I saw it snuffling around in our grass, it was so cute! It had this long nose and these adorable ears. I stayed away from it, because I could also see the claws looked pretty sharp, but it was so sweet I had to get Emily outside to see it.
Emily squealed when she saw it. “Shhhh!” I hushed her. “If Dad sees it, he’ll just want to get rid of the armadillo. We have to make him want to keep it for a pet. You’re going to have to cry.”
“Oh, man! You always make me cry to Daddy when you want something,” Emily complained.
“Hey, you want this, too, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess.” She looked at the armadillo across the yard again. “Yeah, I really do.”
The whole time we talked, we watched the armadillo digging around a sprinkler head. It didn’t look like the pipe was going to survive the digging. Emily would have to do some serious begging!
So, here we were, in the backyard, Emily crying and pleading, the armadillo scrabbling away in the big plastic box Dad put it in, Dad scowling at the damage in the yard, and me just keeping my mouth shut.
I have to admit, I wasn’t all that surprised when Dad finally said, “I’m sorry, Em, but we’ve just got to get rid of the armadillo.”
I was surprised, though, when he added, “But, I think it may be time to get a dog. A really big dog.” Yippeee!!!