You Say Armadillo



 Suzanne's assignment for us was to write something about Russell the Pink Armadillo. Why Russell the Pink Armadillo? I don't know. Then Mary, who taught English as a second language to Spanish speakers, pointed out that armadillo is a Spanish word, and in Spanish the double-l is pronounced as a long-e. Therefore, she said, it should be arma-dee-o.
  So, with thanks to Mary for the idea, and apologies to Ira Gershwin, here goes.  

   Russell and Darlene, two pink armadillos, sat quietly in a shady spot near the stream. It was their special place. They went there to hold paws, snuggle, dream of the future, listen to the stream babble and hear the birds sing.
   Darlene had suggested they meet that afternoon, and Russell had been looking forward to seeing her. It wasn’t the rendezvous he’d expected, however. Darlene was edgy, not her usual smiling, talkative self. He had tried to kiss her on the cheek, but she turned away. He wasn’t very good at small talk, and Darlene wasn’t helping. She was nervous, fidgety, visibly upset.
   “What’s the matter, honey?” Russell asked.
   “Nothing,” she said.
   “Nothing? Are you sure? You act like something is the matter?”
   “I’m fine. OK.”
   “Please tell me what the problem is,” Russell said. “Maybe I can help.”
   “You want to know what the problem is. I’ll tell you what the problem is: Things have come to a pretty pass, our romance is growing flat.”
   “What is that supposed to mean?”
    “It means,” Darlene said, “you like this and the other while I go for this and that.”
   “That’s the dumbest thing anybody ever said.”
   “Dumb or not, something must be done.”
    “And why must something be done?” Russell asked.
    “Because, you say armadillo, and I say arma-dee-o.”
   “And?”
   “And, let’s call the whole thing off,” Darlene said.
   “But oh!” Russell said. “If we call the whole thing off, then we must part.”
   “True.”
   “And oh! If we ever part, then that might break my heart.”
   “So?” Darlene said.
   “So we know we need each other, so we better call the calling off off.”
   “No,” Darlene said. “Let’s call the whole thing off.”
   Darlene turned to leave, and her cell phone rang.
   “Oh hi, Joe,” she said. “I’m on my way to your place now. Love you”
   “There’s a Joe who lives on the other side of that hill. Is that who you were talking to?”
   “Yes.”
   “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but he says ‘armadillo.’”
   “But happiness is just a guy named Joe,” Darlene said.
  

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