I didn't really see any need to fancy up the title of this post. Here's how it happened: I crashed one of Jon's work events a few weeks ago, and what more Texan of an activity would be available to impress a bunch of out-of-towners? It turns out that armadillos are very smart. They scurry around their pen and try to find new and different ways to squeeze out. According to the gentleman who provides the armadillos, Ralph Fisher, they have even been known to stack on top of one another and jump over the side of their pen. I think the best way to give a proper play-by-play is with some photos:
First, you get in the pen with a bunch of armadillos running around. Note: if you are wearing leather shoes, be prepared. I was surprised a couple of times with cold noses on my ankles and little nibbles on the backs of my heels.
Then Ralph asks you which armadillo you want to race. I chose one named Phyllis Dillo.
You hold the armadillo's tail close up near it's butt (with gloves on of course) so that you don't hurt their tails.
Release the armadillos! Once you let them go, you have to shoo them along to one end of the pen where they are supposed to turn around and run back.
Here I am shooing my armadillo back to the start. She finished a disappointing 3rd - out of 3. Jon's armadillo won! He was rewarded with a lovely little statue of an armadillo sitting on a pair of cowboy boots painted like Texas flags. This wonderful trinket is now on permanent display in our living room if you would like to stop by and see it. I got a Texas-shaped cookie cutter as my parting gift. The kicker is - I already had one.
They really are cute critters. Here we are with my armadillo - Phyllis Dillo.
Last, but not least, this is our new friend Ryan, a self-described South African Rugby Fanatic. He took all these great photos for us.