It had been a police action for years on my father-in-law’s ranch, a violent, bloody time fraught with booby traps and pitfalls soon to be followed with ambushes and bloodshed. There were many drive-by shootings in those early days with retaliation taking place in the form of vandalism in the yard and flower bed of my father-in-law’s well kept yard. Armadillos are built for war; their leathery hides an armor to protect them from the onslaught of all but the most determined unarmed attacker. This hide protects their legs and even shields the side of their soft underbelly. Not unlike a small tank, they quickly, strike with deadly precision and disappear long before the first light of dawn will reveal their presence and allow for a pre-emptive or even retaliatory strike.
The armadillos had started the war shortly before I integrated myself into the family by marrying the oldest daughter of the ranch owner. In a guerrilla strike intended to disable my father-in-law’s attempt at successfully taking his own hay from the long flat topped mountain, known locally as Haklochi, the armadillo clan lay a patchwork of holes through the hay meadow, hidden between knolls and small drains, these holes were devilishly devised to damage tractors, mowers and bailers a like.