The Armadillo Files, Episode 7 — Featuring Owls

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Welcome to my sanctuary. You’ve reached The Armadillo Files.  Stand by for zaniness.  

Featured Bloggers

Several of my author and blogger friends absolutely love owls — so much so that they are featured in their blog designs or names, or books.  Some who come to mind are Olga Núñez Miret, Viv Drewa, Fiza Pathan, and new follower Book OwlSpecial thanks to Timothy Price of Off Center and Not Even for the use of his owl photo.  Click over to visit the many wonderful owls he encounters on his walks in New Mexico. Tim also has a blog category for his owl photos.

Three Owlish Things

On a whim (after all, this is spontaneously written), I’m stepping away from my story matrix list of three things from readers.  This episode of The Armadillo Files is driven my own three owlish things.  My owlish things, which drive this chapter are a Curtiss O-52 Owl, hooty-who, turns head (270 degrees).  Just for fun, I’ll pack as many other owlish items as I can into this chapter.  If you want to know more about these birds take a peek at this article with fun owl trivia at Mental Floss.  

Previously in The Armadillo Files

In past episodes, some kind of spaceship carrying Delilah Faraday and Tatu Pinkerton, aka Fang, landed.  We don’t know where, and just as important, we don’t know when.  Fang thought they were going to Manhattan for his new “project.” Dilly didn’t think they’re anywhere near New York.  Then the lights went out…  Are you ready?

All aboard!

7 — Hooty-who?

“Establishing mission location.  Requesting confirmation from operative Tatu Pinkerton.”

 “Who said that?  Who?” I demanded, startled.

 “Shh!  TROLLEY, quietly.  There’s some kind of spy plane flying overhead, and our lights and visuals are offline.  I can’t verify anything.  Just where the heck do you think we are?  I thought we were going to Manhattan for this project,” Fang hissed to the air, ignoring me.

“Who are you talking to?  I’m the only one here…  Aren’t I?” I added more than a little uneasily.

 “Who, who, hooty-who!  Dilly you sound like an owl.  I have work to do.  I’ll explain a hot minute, but right now I have to talk to TROLLEY,” he objected.  “And I’ll tell you about TROLLEY in a minute too.  Meanwhile just don’t say anything about machine voices or robots,” Fang whispered urgently.

Curtiss O-52 Owl 1941, Wikipedia
Curtiss O-52 Owl 1941, Wikipedia

“Identifying potential threat,” the weird voice began.  “Curtiss O-52 Owl, observation aircraft.  Time period appropriate to mission.  Astronomical alignments also correspond to mission target era and location.”

“Exposure threat now out of detection range,” the voice added a moment later.

Fang expelled a relieved breath.  He switched on the flashlight and walked to the control area.  His white tailcoat swished as he walked, exposing the other tail… the long, scaly, pink one that ended in a spatula-like shape.  All I could do was shake my head at the impossible situation in which I found myself.

He opened a panel and tinkered with something that I couldn’t see.  There was a little spark and he drew back his hand with an ouch.

“How am I supposed to get the system online when I can’t see because my lenses are still offline?” he muttered, peering at the innards of the control panel.

Another spark and ouch later the lights groaned back to life.  Whirs, beeps, and blinks came from all around me.  The silly honking sound I heard earlier came from the next compartment, where the cat pilots had vanished.  Then my ears rang with that high-pitched noise, but it wasn’t as loud as before. 

“Operative Tatu Pinkerton, your mission cover has successfully been planted in your location,” the mechanical voice stated. 

Fang hurried to the next compartment with me close on his heels.  I had not been in that room.  It was larger than the other one, but mostly empty.  In the center of the floor a few items were neatly placed.  Those included a pair of men’s shoes.  I noticed that the heel of one was higher than the other.

With a frown, Fang picked them up and squinted at a note that was tucked inside one shoe.

“Your cover necessitates a limp, to explain why you are not fighting in the war with the rest of the males.  Wear these shoes so that you don’t forget to limp,” he read aloud.  “Peggy Sue has a real mean streak to make me wear these.  Worse, she has boring taste in footwear.”

Abruptly he noticed brightly colored paper under the shoes.  It was a comic book.  He picked up the book acting excited.  He danced a circle and that time he did the high-kick that he didn’t finish earlier.  Thankfully he had changed from the short robe and was wearing trousers.

“I’ve wanted to add The Black Owl to my comic book collection for ages!  He’s one of the best superheroes that nobody remembers!” Fang enthused.

“I hope this makes up for the shoes. Love, Frances,” he read the note that was tucked inside the comic.

Black Owl comic 1940s Wikipedia (altered image)
The Black Owl comic 1940s Wikipedia (altered image)

While Fang eagerly flipped through his comic book, I bent down to pick up the other item.  It was a newspaper.  Since it was not very thick, I expected it was a local publication.  Turning it over I saw the name, “Oak Ridge Journal.”

“Note your new cover,” the voice announced as I took the newspaper.  “It has been successfully established before your arrival.”

As I skimmed down the page, I saw an article accompanied by a photo of a trolley car.  It mentioned business and liquor licenses being issued for an entertainment establishment, which was made from a refurbished trolley.  I swallowed a worried gulp, remembering that I had thought the spaceship that docked with the Jupiter AM-18 rocked reminded me of a trolley car.

“Opening soon, The Pink Fairy,” I read aloud, noticing that was also the name on a sigh atop the pictured trolley car.

“Exit ship immediately,” the artificial voice demanded amid flashing yellow lights.  “Grounding procedures commencing in 10, 9…”

“Dilly, hurry!” Fang yelled.

He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the exit hatch.  We stumbled into the dark of night.  He ran until we were a good distance away.  When he stopped, I turned toward the direction from which we came.

“Your ship looks like a yellow trolley,” I murmured in astonishment. 

“Honey, that’s not a trolley, it’s TROLLEY.  Time Rate Oscillation Lithium Link Enabler Yttrion — TROLLEY,” he declared.  “And remember.  Don’t say anything about machine.” 

Purple and yellow lights flashed from inside the ship, if I should call it a ship.  Abruptly it bulged and shifted.  A blast of purple light enveloped the area. 

From somewhere behind me, I heard a gasp.  Bushes rustled softly.  Fang turned his head quickly toward the sound.

“Someone’s out there,” I whispered worriedly. 

My companion cast a frantic seeming glance around our area.  Then he stifled a scream.

Young owl on tree Timothy Price 2021
Owl by Timothy Price

An owl whooshed on silent wings to alight in a nearby tree.  Thinking he was about to run off into the night, I grabbed Fang’s arm.  I demanded to know what was the matter. 

“I’m afraid of owls.  I’m afraid of all birds of prey.  They eat little animals… like pink fairy armadillos!” he wailed. 

He shook off my hand.  Standing defiantly, he called up to the bird. 

“Hooty-who!  Hooty-who!” Fang hooted at it. 

The owl blinked large eyes.  Its head turned about 270 degrees, and then turned it back.  Unconcernedly, the owl hooted down at us.  Fang jumped halfway out of his skin. 

Again, I heard movement in the bushes.  I turned an uneasy gaze to Fang. 

What I heard was not the owl.

 ♦ ♦ ♦

The Wise Old Owl by Al Donahue & his Orchestra, vocal by Dee Keating. 1941

♦ ♦ ♦

I’m beginning to worry about Fang’s fashion sense, not to mention his understanding of history…  I love to hear from you, so be sure to stop and say hello.  Whether your comment is to me or another commenter, keep it friendly.  Hugs on the wing!

♦ ♦ ♦

Dead of Winter, Journey 9, Doors of Attunement!

Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement, by Teagan Riordain Geneviene
Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Dead of Winter, All the Journeys

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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88 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 7 — Featuring Owls

  1. What an intriguing episode… it!! I love owls….best experience I have had with an owl is when one landed on the wood railing of our deck off the master bedroom. 2nd floor deck with view across a field towards the ocean. It was a very large owl and I went to the sliding glass door to get more of an up-close view. When I did this, the owl slowly rotated its head around to look at me. After staring at me for more than a few minutes then turned back towards the field. Apparently the owl decided that I wasn’t as interesting as whatever it saw in the field. Beautiful and like I said very large bird!! Again, great episode…can’t wait for more!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooo what a wonderful story, Kirt! Haha, you weren’t as interesting as the dinner he knew was in that field. The only time I’ve been “close” to one was at a house I lived in on a large wooden lot. Several of us were standing on the driveway talking. I felt more than heard a whoosh a few feet away. I barely got a glimpse of a large tawny colored owl swooping low to the ground.
      I was amazed that it maneuvered amid all those trees. It was gone as magically as it appeared.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hugs on owl wings!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, I was so lucky to find that video. It still cracks me up. I’m glad it made you laugh.
      Oh that’s two different stories. The big eye in the book cover is a… ahem… well, it’s not an owl or any other bird.
      Tim said that owl is about to barf up a pellet, but it looks close enough to a “Hoot” to me. Although that gave me an idea for the next episode. 😉 Happy week to you too. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HOOT, HOOT, TOOT! ! Owls, what interesting subjects–love them–such exciting creatures. Excellent choice for main characters. You have an amazing imagination, what a background for an exciting story. You are amazing, I look forward to your stories and artwork! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, the TROLLEY acronym is fab! I wasn’t expecting that.
    The owl thing is a hoot. (pardon!) Sorry fang, and Thanks Tim for the owl pic!
    Love the Black Owl comic cover, and Fang’s limp shoes are another hoot! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Teagan, another cliffhanger. Or rather bush hanger. A fun episode. Dilly has more adventure, now with owls. Wisdom related. What will she find out next? I love the meaning of TROLLY acronym. Wondered about that. And where did the cats go? For good? I’ll just have to wait until next week! Hugs, my moon kid friend. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it, Christine. Hmmm… I plan a moon related post with Teri Polen during her Bad Moon Rising event. Maybe Dilly is a moon kid too.
      Yes, I spent an entire day figuring out what words could reasonably spell out TROLLEY. So I’ve put it in every episode where TROLLEY signs-off. Quite a tongue-twister!
      Hugs winging back to you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a riot, Teagan. Thanks for explaining what Trolley stood for. I needed that. And I love these two characters. Tatu is hysterical – what a hoot (pardon the pun. Hehe). I worked for years in a restaurant that was an old trolley. Lol. So the episode brought up some memories. Great read and I look forward to the next. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! There really is a trolley! How fabulous, Diana. Thanks for sharing that. It’s been my intention from the beginning that TROLLEY would “act” as a bar or similar.
      Thanks about Tatu/Fang. His character was rather like Athena, springing from her father’s head fully formed. I’m finally beginning to “feel” Dilly. (Which might not be apparent or relevant to anyone other than me.)
      I hope you’re beginning to feel more like yourself. I know how tedious and long it can be to recover from a back problem. Be good to you. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The restaurant that I worked at was called Shenanigans and the trolley was actually inside the restaurant with booths and the bar in the trolley and tables all around. (Not enough seating otherwise). It was a fun place.
        Tatu is so off the wall, that Dilly acts a bit as a baffled but willing “straight man.” The combo is perfect. She’s necessary to balance Tatu’s zaniness. 😀
        And I’m doing fine. On the way to recovery as best as can be expected at my… age. Ugh. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Akk! No age comments here. LOL. I’m following the practice of the elders I chuckled at as a kid — turning the age (numbers) around. So I’m only 26. LOL. Of course that practice only helps for about the first half of a decade.

          I love that about Shenanigans. I haven’t taken time to think it out, but I’ve been aware of the lack of seating issue for TROLLEY. Maybe mine will use the trolley car as an entry… with another building attacked behind it. Or just multiple cars…

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I love owls, and loved them showing up in this story. However I had to laugh at poor Fang. I suppose a pink armadillo would make a tasty meal for an owl. And Dilly is in a confused tither. Can’t wait to see what pops out of the bushes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, I’m curious to know what’s in those bushes too, Jan — because right now I’m in the dark about it too! Ha. After a few hooty-whos, I realized that Fang was afraid of any sort of bird of prey. Maybe his love of comic book heroes will eventually lead to some fun. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent episode, Teagan. The owl pic you used is perfect for the part, but I still have to smile knowing it was upchucking an owl pellet. The owl was in mid upchuck when I got the pic. I’m so happy you made good use of the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just love owls, but I understand that Fang wouldn’t! And he needs to wear shoes that will make him limp. Poor Fang. Dilly seems somewhat dazzled and somewhat frazzled. Or maybe that’s me trying to keep up with this face-paced tale.

    And now we have someone/something in the bushes! This story is going to be a hoot! 🤗🦉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! Thanks, Teagan, not only for mentioning my blog (and I’m in excellent owly company), but especially for the story. I do so love owls! I’m sorry Fang isn’t a fan, although I totally understand. It seems, though, that something else is hiding in the bushes. This week is going to feel quite long until we know who or what is there. Stay safe and keep the story coming! Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hooty-who, Teagan. I love the name of Fang’s new business, Pink Trolley. He is certainly an original, as are you, Teagan, “ReOwldain”. This is one fun post. Historical hugs hurling your way until next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Different scenarios for those bushes are whirling through my mind, Priscilla.
      Chris Graham’s thing “Bagpipes” had inspired a character… but that went off the rails when the combination of things inspired the “Traveler”… Maybe that derailed character will come along without the bagpipes. Or not. Yeesh. I don’t know. LOL. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard TROLLEY, Arnav! To catch up, on the right side of the screen (at least on computers — not sure about smaller devices) there is a list of categories. You can click on “Armadillo Files” for a list of the episodes. However, that’s in reverse order, but it’s easy to page down to the first episode. It’s all whimsical fun. Fang is very excitable and he’s unusual to say the least. You’ll come to understand why. Hugs on the wing.


        1. Happy new week, Arnav. It’s several posts, now but not really all that much reading.
          Yes, all my serials eventually become novels. There are several now.
          Since you love animals, you might enjoy “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam”. It’s a fairytale written for grownups, meaning that the reading-level, and perceptions were for my blog audience. It’s about a misfit fairy (she doesn’t fly well and she’s afraid of heights) and a hummingbird named Bob, who have to save their world from the “colorless world” that is seeping into theirs.
          Here’s a universal link Kindle:

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Hooty-who my dear friend. You came through with another entertaining episode. Pinkerton has an understandable fear of owls and how astute of you to put that in. Each chapter makes me anxious for the next! What fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m glad I checked my BP before reading this. At least they seem to be on the way to Manhattan, albeit not the great white way. Oh well, Fang wouldn’t be comfortable in NYC, dressed as he is 😉

    The Pink Trolley sounds like it’s off to a promising start – business and liquor licenses in hand. I hope these two get out of the wild open and into relative safety.

    Thanks for reminding me about Gomer Pile USMC – the laugh did me good. I hope you have a nice relaxing weekend, Teagan. Hoody-who

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dan. That Gomer Pyle bit popped into my head and I was lucky to find the video. I’m happy it made you laugh.
      I had to think of something, some reason for the small business to appear in the newspaper. I figured small town papers would mention mundane technicalities like the licenses. I’ve lived in places where the newspaper had a section for that kind of thing.
      It’s been a weird morning. I’ll definitely be over to the No Facilities virtual bar soon, for a virtual martini! Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

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