The annual Mid-South conference of Armadillos International met at Frog Level earlier this week. Armand Armadillo of Bartholomew Bayou presided in this, his last year at the helm. His rallying speech was as rousing as it was informative.
I was one of five biped journalists invited to the venerable event and only two of us showed up—Pansy Purdom of the New Orleans Picayune and me of the De Queen Bee. Pansy managed to get a short personal interview with President Armand himself, but I had to satisfy myself with my hasty notes from the initial oration. The high points were as follows:
All armadillos were called upon to snuff out the false rumor that their kind arose from a possum knowing a turtle (in the Biblical sense) and bringing forth young. It is a canard perpetrated by a northern tribe which thinks itself superior to all other animals. They are known for spreading such lies. In Armand’s words, “Though we may resemble both the Opossum and the turtle, we have little in common with either. We are now, as we have been since Adam named us, a peculiar species. Our sows always have four young and they are always of the same gender, for they offer but one four-chambered egg for fertilization. In fact, my three brothers are here among us today and I would ask them to stand.”
Further, President Armand called upon the conference to stop jumping from fear on the highways and bi-ways of life. He explained that humans such as Patsy and me almost always take rapidly rolling hunks of metal with them when they travel. In his words, “When you find yourself in the path of one of these hastening metallic hunks, stay low. On my way here from Bartholomew Bayou, I saw countless sail armadillos, that is, armadillos that have been flattened enough for any farm boy to sail the carcass away into the void. None of these appeared to have met their fate in the wheel path of the hunks, but rather, I surmise, the deceased jumped from fear, even though the vehicle harmlessly straddled the unfortunate creature. Staying low would have preserved life, manifold and variform, as I noted bunches of raccoons and opossums who had met the same fate. Jumping is fatal, so, my friends, stay low.”
As the sage creature spoke, I began to ponder his words for any wisdom they may offer my own kind. Jumping to conclusions, for example, is often devastating in relationships. In doing so, we ascribe motives that may not be and probably are not those of the ones we falsely adjudge. Also, I noted that there are unfounded rumors about our own human origin that Armand’s words may remedy. Are we humans an evolved species or one called out for a special purpose from the get-go? I conclude that Armand is right. Rumors are nothing more than false etiologies and much of what we read about origin of our species smacks of compounded rumor.
Patsy shared a bit of her private talk with Armand. She told me he said that staying low and honoring the truth about our origins are related to each other. I did not understand that one and I don’t see how Armand could have known the Bible. She said he quoted Job as saying, “I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”