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Home > Pagan Children > Story: Armadillo Search

by Daven and his daughter

Once, long ago, in the time before time in this no time, in this no place where each being was choosing who or what they would be one day Spirit was talking with several of the beings who had already chosen.

Hawk and Eagle were there as was Snake. On this day Spirit appeared to be a cloud, shot through with light.

A being watched them carefully. He had been thinking about what he should choose to be. He was worried about his choice, for he would be the first of his kind and he wanted to make sure that his choice was a good one.

He thought about the beings talking with Spirit. He did not want them to have an easy time of catching him and eating him like Mouse. He also was not interested in being a hunter like them either, for he had seen that Spirit would make it hard for the hunters to catch their prey. This was a good thing, for if the hunters caught everyone and ate them, there would be none of that animal people left. The being did not want that for his children.

He thought about being able to run very fast, but he knew that would be a lot of work and he would need to eat a lot of food. He thought about living under the ground but he liked sunshine and didn't want to give it up. He thought about being a flyer, but he knew that would make the other flyers want to hunt him. Remembering Hawk, he wasn't sure he wanted her chasing him.

He thought about making himself taste really bad so that any one who tried to eat him would get sick, very sick. He was, however a friendly being and he was afraid that no one would want to talk to him if he were poisonous.

He also knew that there must be a balance between hunter and hunted, balance between eater and eaten. A being that was safe from every being would soon take over the world. He had no such wish, for he understood the need for balance.

He kept thinking about the problem for a very long time. Finally, he had an idea. He went to Spirit.

"Spirit, I think I am ready to choose. Please tell me if you think it is a good choice."

Spirit listened carefully to what the being said; and watched just as carefully for what was not said; and felt just as carefully what was wished for.

"I have thought about it and I would like to have a very thick hard skin. I want it to wrap around me so that I am safe from those who would eat me."

"That is a good choice." On this day, Spirit's voice was as soft and gentle as a spring breeze.

"I would ask for ears that hear well and if it is not too much of a problem, could I also be not too big and not too small?"

The breeze laughed as merrily as if it were tickling the trees. "No, not too much trouble at all."

"There is one more thing if you don't mind?" The creature that was taking shape was a little worried. He was afraid he was asking for more than he should, but he had an idea.

"Ask what you will." Spirit didn't seem angry.

"If I could curl up into a ball so I am covered by my thick skin? I would feel safer then. I love to travel you see and explore new places. I would not want to be caught by a hunter I do not know about in a new part of the world."

Spirit smiled like a shower of stars. "So it shall be. You have been wise and not asked for the impossible."

And that is how Armadillo came to be.

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