Sand dunes and armadillos

Ed the Armadillo went to school this week to help the children learn about Texas animals. Edmond, or "Ed" for short, is actually a Beanie Baby, but, shshshshsh! Don't tell.

Ed is not just a fad collector item. Ed has a job and has assisted in numerous class lessons and storytimes over the past decade. You could call him an adjunct professor of listening and digging. Unlike me, Ed doesn't seem to be wearing out.

There's something endearing about an armadillo's poor vision and tenacity that charms children. I don't have any proof, but I hope learning with Ed about armadillos helps my little students remember to look both ways before crossing streets! We are sad that an animal who can swim rivers, roll up in an armored ball, expand its range north into Kansas,and jump two feet in the air to surprise predators can't safely cross a highway!

A dear friend gave me this beanie armadillo in the winter of '97 when divorce and child custody struggles were grinding me into the dirt. In the dirt is where armadillos dig for grubs and insects. 1997 was the beginning of my own digging-out process

In March of 1998 I took a solo road trip to Palo Duro Canyon. Energized by the experience I took just my Danger Baby son on an Easter weekend trip to Monahans Sandhills State Park. It was a place both of us wanted to revisit. The other two guys were stayed with their dad for the holiday as decreed. Edmond was the mascot in the Mazda MPV minivan as Danger Baby and I listened to classic rock cassettes, dumped sand out of our cuffs, and kept our eyes peeled for a Denny's grand slam breakfast on the drive home.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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