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Arts

I finally saw an armadillo that was not dead

One day in Texas

`Armadillo in Texas Panhandle
John Bear
`Armadillo in Texas Panhandle

I was driving in a remote and beautiful stretch of the Texas panhandle one day when I saw a pile of what was once a raccoon. No big deal. There is a ton of road kill on this portion of nowhere in between Memphis, Texas and Hollis, Okla.

But there was a gray thing standing by the raccoon and I knew at once it was an armadillo. I had never seen one, not alive, always dead like the poor coon. This one might have been dead as well. A raccoon and armadillo might have murdered each other, and there mortal combat locked in time would make a good photo opportunity.

In either case it seemed like a u-turn was totally worth it.

The armadillo was not dead and was feasting enthusiastically. It was shoulder deep inside what remained of the raccoon. It didn't stop for me, not until I was within 10 feet of the beast. It was ancient, primordial. It stopped eating, took a step back and eyed me but did not run off. I shot some more photos but left before the thing ran into the street--and the horrible fate that befell the coon.