The armadillos met in plenary session at Frog Level, Arkansas. During an exclusive interview in his tasteful Dorcheat arbor, Governor Rusty Armor told this reporter that his main agenda concerned local government as opposed to the great armadocracy headquartered at Stinkbottom Swamp. Although I was not invited to the meeting itself, being human as I almost certainly am, I was allowed a spot in a dilapidated deer stand near enough to hear most of the proceedings. I dropped my camera, cracking the lens, so I did not get any photographs for the paper.
After an improvisational tuba solo by Wally Womble, the rough-hewn clan aligned themselves in a huge semi-circular congregation around Governor Armor. From my lofty perch, the spectacle was not unlike a Greek theater as it unfolded below me. Rotsy Smellcroft got the P.A. system working after a long delay full of obnoxious squeals and squeaks. When the Governor (they call him GOTAS—Governor Of The Armadillo State) began to speak, his words seemed constrained by his beak-like oral orifice. He seemed to say, “Parp parp perparp parp parpy.” However, after Citizen Rotsy got the amp feed right, I heard GOTAS say, “Y’all quit jumping when y’all are on the highway. Stay low. Every DOR (Dead On Road) brother or sister jumped. It is very infrequent for the tires to hit our kind, because the tires admire us, seeing in our hide a portrait of their own. So do not jump. Friends, do not become a sail armadillo, one so flattened by traffic that the highway folks sail you off into the woods.”
The Governor continued, “You will not hear this directive from those Dillocrats in Stinkbottom. They want you to jump at every provocation, even if it means your loss of individuality. They want you to sail away with your ideas of individual liberty if you will not conform to the Stinkbottom way. But, my fellow armadillos, there is a Higher Law, an ancient set of principles set forth in stone. It is the same law that created your probing snout to gather sustenance from crawling things. It is the same law that allows you to walk undaunted on the bottom of streams until you reach the other side. It is the same law, brothers and sisters, that shows you how to keep low and stay below the tow trucks and semis, your foes of the road. Jump not, y’all, for in remaining obedient to gravity, you defy the dictates of Stinkbottom. What I am uttering here today is the best of local government. Make a ball, y’all, and stay low. The Stinkbottom group has placed deadly turbulence above you---they want you to fail and sail.”
Those congregated there at Frog Level broke into “Joyful, Joyful” then as GOTAS wiped something from his eyes. When the song was over, the governor said gently with a quaver, “Thank you. Make a ball, y’all, stay low.”
The opposition, represented by Daisy Dillard, gave a radio address that evening on Frog Level Trader. She said, “There is no malevolence at Stinkbottom. National government simply wants us armadillos to stay off the roadway. I mean, local government means staying put in every sense. No?”