Which should, once again, be a fairly innocuous task.
I mean, it's not like we're crazy enough to do it ourselves. We didn't even consider it; instead we accepted our limitations and hired a great company. The workers got started last week. Monday and Tuesday they ripped the old porch off leaving this:
And one of the things we noticed was the huge pile of dirt by the foundation that you can see here:
"That's odd," we said. "They're probably going to level it out later."
Because we didn't realize that the workers hadn't left us the pile.
The armadillo did.
That's right Midwestern and East Coast friends, AN ARMADILLO.
(this wasn't the one in our yard, found the pic on Wikimedia Commons posted by By Wgfcrafty
Which we discovered at about 10:45 Tuesday night when it was frantically trying to get back in the yard and into its burrow.
Let me set the scene for you: I was working online, keeping my corner of the internet free from penis artists when Opie took Bubba outside for the night....five minutes later, he called me. "There's an armadillo trying to get in the yard!"
I did what any rational person would do--researched it on the Internet.
And if you've ever been lucky enough to be around me when I'm doing research, it probably doesn't surprise you to learn that the Internet is NOT filled with stories about how the friendly armadillo builds its nest under the house and wanders around spreading sunshine and love.
In fact, it was even worse than the time that I researched the raccoons who had dug into my siding and read things like "distantly related to bears!" and "vicious when cornered" or my personal favorite "common rabies carrier."
What is worse than rabies?
The first article that I found online said that armadillos are linked to leprosy in humans. Don't believe me? Check this out, it was reported on CNN!
(It is interesting to note that when I shared this tidbit with my Oklahoma friends they were all "Oh, not all of them." Like that was comforting. Because, let's be honest, with the way my life usually goes, if one out of every million armadillos is infected with leprosy, that one would be in MY yard. I'm already practicing walking around in sackcloth and ashes screaming "unclean!" at anyone who walks by)
In any case, I handled this news with my usual stoic calm.
"For the love of heaven, DON'T TOUCH IT!" I screamed at Opie.
And, oddly, he hadn't been thinking about touching it. All he really wanted to do was keep it from getting back in the yard.
"Shine the flashlight on it and yell." I suggested.
But that didn't work. All the armadillo did was begin running up and down the fence line--shockingly fast for a creature that looks like a fat little dinosaur--stopping and digging at the fence every few feet.
"Kick the fence!' I shouted then.
So, it was 11:00, Opie was running around the backyard, waving the flashlight, yelling and kicking the fence, while Bub ran with him, barking at the top of his lungs.
And the weird thing was, it scared the armadillo off...but none of our neighbors even noticed.
Which is a little insulting. I mean, on the one hand, I'm glad that no one called the police and had Opie hauled off to jail. But on the other hand, I'm a little offended that they might have heard the commotion, peeked out the window and said "Oh, yah, it's just those psycho Yates again, nothing to worry about." and went' about their business.
I'm tying to figure out what it might take to get these people's attention and I have to be honest, I smell CHALLENGE.