My mother loved springtime. She loved planting flowers everywhere and always had a vegetable garden wherever we lived. I guess it was probably the farm living in the Ozarks when she was a child that instilled a love of watching things grow as an adult.
One year she decided to plant tulip bulbs (her favorite flower) all around the base of a large tree in the front yard. Carefully, she dug holes and made a circle of what she hoped later on would be a burst of tulips she could enjoy from the hanging swing on the enclosed front porch.
One morning, however, my mother discovered something had dug up some of the bulbs during the night…but what? She replanted some more bulbs but discovered the next day that the thief had struck again. Eventually my mother figured out that a momma armadillo and her babies were finding her tulip bulbs a delicious midnight snack. She didn’t want to keep providing them with a tulip buffet but she wasn’t sure about the right way to solve her problem.
Just how does one convince an armadillo to go away?
Mother’s tulip thief problem was surprisingly solved the following evening in a frightening way. Just around the time the sun was setting, we suddenly heard this strange sound coming from under our house. Deep and loud, that rumbling roar could be heard a block away from my house and my mother knew in an instant what was making that scary sound.
Living so near the bayous usually meant lots of rain and with that came the occasional visit from critters living in the marshy lands surrounding my home town. Evidently the last rain we’d had made our nighttime visitor leave the comforts of his cozy home in the bayou to find refuge under our house. All through the night we listened to the song of the swamps as we waited for the game warden to arrive the next day and take that critter back to where it came from.
Everything eventually returned to normal after that. We got to enjoy the rest of our spring and my mother got to enjoy her tulips.
And the armadillo family?
Unfortunately our six fool long visitor needed a late night snack before he returned home…
International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.
2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Tulip Hunting Can Be Dangerous”
I bet that alligator appreciated the snacks and had a smile on its face too.
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I’m pretty sure you are correct, Janet!
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