The armadillo is really a nine-banded armadillo in our area. He has been on my mind since writing about feeling armored against others. Here, truly, in this small creature with poor eyesight, is an image of bumbling me, going about my way, carefully shielded from my environment.
My husband and I saw our first armadillo on Merritt Island after visiting the Kennedy Space Center on one of our journeys to Florida to visit his parents. We were birding along a narrow road, looking for the wildlife refuge and not finding it. At the end of this road, lined with lovely houses, we followed one poor armadillo, keeping him in sight and taking picture after picture. Not perhaps, its favorite day.
Our next encounter of merit, occurred during a stay at Burnt Store Marina. It was late. The moon full with an October Harvest peach tint; we waited for the coming eclipse. We felt restless; when visiting the elderly, we often found ourselves with too much energy, trapped in a sit down world, no exercise felt enough. So we walked. Walking around the marina led us to many first time sightings of manatees then a stumble through buildings and out across the dry dock and then a few kisses under some palms after the sunset faded and then a racket aroused our attention.
Who made the noise in the shrubs we wondered. The answer was an armadillo. Who else would wander around out at night?
So that brings me back to the recent sighting of a dead armadillo. I think perhaps one problem with war, and all of our armaments is that we believe in that power of armor. Armor keeps us safe and as long as we have it around, we needn't worry. No matter if we are short sighted. There are term-ites enough that we will all survive for a time.
Imagine the load, someone with armor can bear. Might as well pile on the responsibilities and duties, because surely they are built strong enough they can not fail.
Yet, clearly, the poor carcass left after the black vultures picked out the meat tells the truth. They have a nervous jump that often takes them under the wheels of a car.
So why am I thinking these gruesome thoughts about death? Its the blood lining the edges of the torn armor. With armor, humans seem to become something superhuman at the expense of reality. Inside those shells, are living, breathing, hungry, wanting to be loved animals. They bleed. Anything that bleeds is never truly safe or protected.