(a true 250-word story)
Everyone relaxed and quiet around the campfire enjoying a lunch of red beans and cornbread—glad we weren’t cooped up at home in the house for the inevitable aftermath of the vapors-producing meal—one of us, I forget who, spotted the armadillo as it silently waddled into camp. It was busy nosing around in the grass for its lunch and either didn’t notice us or didn’t care we were there, possibly thinking it was safe in the protected bounds of the state park named after a legendary drunk of a Texas politician. Mom and Dad never had a chance to make us stay still to eat lunch. My youngest brother started it by easing his plate to the ground before yelling “Get it!” as he leapt to his feet and lunged at the armored creature.
A microsecond later the rest of us (except Mom and Dad) were chasing the frightened thing around the campsite—all giggling maniacally, blocking its path and shouting orders of pursuit no one was obeying.
Around and around we went in a circle at least three times, amazed at how fast and maneuverable the little bugger was. At one point it ran up the side of the tent like a race car taking a high-banked curve before vectoring toward the edge of camp into dense south Texas bramble and was gone.
Panting hard we all looked at our parents still sitting calmly, grinning between bites of beans at their wild offspring’s spontaneous camping adventure.