South Georgia Scenes: The Armadillo

My brother-in-law Tom is my man on the ground in South Georgia, Land of the Anecdote. I'm hoping to convince him to write the occasional guest post; in the meantime, he has provided me with a few amusing anecdotes. Tom came to visit last weekend, and he told this story of industriousness and missed opportunity.

Back in the seventies or eighties, when armadillos were still a novelty in South Georgia, a friend of Tom's was poking around at the Altamaha River when he ran up on two little boys, one of whom was holding an armadillo he had caught. The man wanted the armadillo. He offered to pay the boy a dollar for it.

The boy who caught the armadillo wasn't sure. He had worked hard to catch the armadillo, and he valued it at more than a dollar. It sounded like a good deal to the second boy, however. "Take the money," he said. "We can go get us some ice cream cones."

The boys argued back and forth for a little while, and the man waited for the upshot. But while they were arguing, the armadillo wiggled loose and skittered away. The first boy stood in mute astonishment. The second boy stomped his foot. "Dang it," he said as the armadillo's scaly back disappeared into the palmetto. "There goes my ice cream."