Just a Love Pat


I was on my second trip around the loop at Memorial Park late last Thursday night when I came upon an armadillo rustling in a deep bed of brown pine needles next to the trail.  I’ve heard they don’t see well, but even when he heard me coming closer he didn’t seem to care very much.  I felt like I could almost reach out and touch him, and regretted my chance to do so when he scampered off into the woods.  The next time around, there he was again!  It was pretty cute the way he was burying his head in those pine needles all the way up to his eyes, and I took advantage of that to creep up next to him, timing my steps on the crinkly leaves and needles with the occasional car that roared past us.  Finally I was close enough, and gave the guy a friendly slap on the back that sent him scurrying away. 


Funny how I felt a little bit nervous.  They don’t bite, do they?  Next time I’ll need to try to pick him up!  They’re mammals, so that means they could enjoy a little affection, right? 

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26 Responses to “”

  1. You could definitely catch yourself a cute little disease by cuddling with an armadillo – they carry rabies, don’t they?

  2. yeah, my thoughts exactly, meg.  stephen, you should have gone directly to the ER for a tetanus shot afterwards.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    What you did sounds like something I would do. Fun.

  4. You silly girls.  Rabies?  Tetanus?  This isn’t a squirrel or some stray dog or cat foaming at the mouth!  A person who regularly handles armadillos may increase their exposure to Hansen’s disease, but that’s not even for certain.  You’re just supposed to watch out for their claws in case they get antsy and spastic (kind of like how I get when I get frightened, so watch out).  Fun fact:  East Texans called them Hoover hogs during the Depression and supposedly they taste like pork. 

  5. Leave my armadillo friends alone.  I will tell them not to give you leprosy, but beyond that I can not guarantee your protection.

  6. man.. u gotta leave that guy alone!

  7. clearly you guys did not read the title…IT WAS JUST A LOVE PAT!I think that was a great idea, I’m in the same boat as Benjamin.

  8. I would love to actually see a live armadillo one day.  Sounds fun.  I don’t know how “cute” I would say they are though since I tend to be more fond of little fury animals.

  9. When I first saw one, I thought she or he was cute too, and I wanted to pet it.  But my friends wouldn’t let me…  Always spoiling the fun!
    Now a skunk, that’s something you don’t want to try & love pat.  😛

  10. yeah, i heard they give you leprosy…

  11. You’re brave.

  12. I’m jealous now! Never seen an armadillo myself! Don’t think I’d try cuddling one though – they look a bit hard!

  13. When I lived in Florida, I stayed over at a friend’s house one night. She lived within walking distance from my house. So the next morning, I started my walk home. From out of nowhere, a little armadillo came from the woods onto the road and started to follow me! They are kinda fast, so I quickened my pace ’cause I was kinda freaked out! It followed almost all the way to my house, and went back to the woods before I reached home. I didn’t give him a love pat… I was too scared! Now that I live in Alabama, aramdillos are a common sight. Especially as roadkill!

  14. Sung to the tune of “Yesterday” :” Leprosy… I’ve got body parts falling off of me…”

  15. Wow, who’d have thought an armadillo could provoke so much discussion? Anyway, I’d heard the thing about diseases too, but I’m not sure from where… and I never thought of armadillos being cute, but I guess they can be!

  16. Armadillos have rights too.

  17. Leprosy? Hah! My brother is half-armadillo.

  18. unfriendly mammals hmmmm….. maybe lions, tigers and bears, oh my.

  19. Did you know there’s a conference center in Glasgow (Scotland) shaped like an Armadillo?Link to pictureAnd for much good info on Armadillos, see the following link, which includes the sage advice:”In a world that is losing its biodiversity at an alarming rate, every animal should be taken seriously”. Yes, Stephen, even yours. So no more frivolous comments, please. Seriously.

  20. Is it possible to de-shell an Armadillo? If so, I wonder if they wouldn’t look a bit like a felineish terrier.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    whoo hoo!i’m the 22nd commenter!

  22. Anonymous Says:

    I heard a joke once… if a turtle (or an Armadillo) loses its shell, is it homeless or naked?

  23. Can armadillo’s blink? What if next time he just winked at you? What would you do then?

  24. Just feel a need to correct a few of the comments on Hansen disease. Sorry to hange the tone but this is just too close to the mark for me.
    It is an infection thaty damages the nerves. As a result people loose there ability to feel, especially pain. Them limbs dont fall off as a result of the disease.
    The loss of limbs arises from accidental injuries such as not realizing you are standing on a piece of glass or your hand is over the gas burner.
    My personal experience of this disease is horrific. It is awful to see people maimed in this way especially when you consider it is entireliy treatable with medicines that are very cheap, however most infected people live in places that are too poor to afford the medicines.
    Now the patents have expired they are more treatable. The story is very simular to where we are at with HIV. We have a treatment that entirely prevents disease progression but western countries are too interested in protecting there drug companies profits to make this available.

  25. Just to clarify a bit … Hansen disease is commonly known as leprosy! (for us non-medical people!)

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