Bluebonnet the Armadillo

Bluebonnet the armadillo was born in the Texas Hill Country, the daughter of Mommadillo and Daddidillo. Since armadillos are always born in fours, either all boys or all girls, Bluebonnet has three sisters: Normadillo, Irmadillo and Arvilladillo.

Bluebonnet’s parents made the blue sunbonnet to shield her eyes from the bright Texas sun. Thus, she is named for the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet, as well as her trademark blue sunbonnet. Her name in Spanish is “Bonte Azul.”
Her first adventure out of the burrow, at age six months, took her to camp, where she learned that when she focused on others’ safety and well-being, rather than her own insecurities, she overcame the fear which constantly caused her to run away. Bluebonnet is invited to become a camper when she saves the lives of two campers from a flash flood on the Guadalupe River.

Bluebonnet next traveled to the Alamo and met Digger Diller, the proud owner of Jim Bowie’s knife. Digger Diller’s “Great Great Grand Diller” found Bowie’s knife following the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. The knife had been hidden in an armadillo burrow ever since, passed down from one armadillo generation to the next. Bluebonnet spends her time with Digger Diller trying to convince him to give the knife to the Alamo museum, for after all, “What good is a special treasure unless you share it?”

In Dallas, Bluebonnet sets out to see her Aunt Armadilly, who lives in a burrow at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas. She scrambles across the football field during the Texas-OU game, where she’s mistaken for the football, and meets a new friend, Joe Bob Bunny. Together, they seek out the clues Aunt Armadilly has provided to give them a tour of the State Fair. Big Tex lends a helping hand to the two fair-goers when it appears they’ve lost their way, which enables them to end up at the place where Joe Bob Bunny started—-the Livestock Pavillion.

At Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Bluebonnet is intrigued with the dinosaur footprints along the Paluxy River. Her meanderings lead her to a discovery…..a sleeping glyptodont named Spike. This pre-historic mammal and cousin of the armadillo awakes long enough for Bluebonnet to show him around Dinosaur Valley State Park. Their footprints soon attract attention as tourists search for “the giant armadillo.”

Meeting up in Houston with sister Normadillo, Bluebonnet tours Space Center Houston at the Johnson Space Center. Normadillo thinks Bluebonnet is a “silly dilly” for wanting to follow her dream of traveling in outer space, but Bluebonnet is not deterred and soon becomes a part of the Space Shuttle crew. Normadillo monitors her space flight from Mission Control, and sisterly pride shows through when Normadillo proclaims Bluebonnet as “the world’s first astrodillo!”

Traveling on to Austin, Bluebonnet encounters a dive-bombing mockingbird named Mac. The two quickly become friends and Mac offers to give Bluebonnet a tour of the Texas State Capital. Amidst the stately halls they meet up with a group of schoolchildren who are lobbying for a state mammal. Some support the longhorn, others the armadillo. Bluebonnet and Mac soon meet Bevo the Longhorn, the mascot of the University of Texas. The tension between the two rivals builds until Mac learns the results of the Texas legislature’s vote: the longhorn is the large state mammal, and the armadillo is the small state mammal. They celebrate with the official dance of Texas: the square dance.

Bluebonnet next travels to Marshall to see the newly-renovated train depot. Her tour guide is T.P., a cat whose job it is to rid the depot of mice. He’s named for the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Bluebonnet learns much about Marshall’s past when Texas and Pacific Railroad employed people from around the world to work in the train yards. But when she tells T.P. she’s never ridden a train, he confesses that he hasn’t either. Bluebonnet sees a chance for them to take their first train ride…..and they hop aboard just in time!

Just down the road from Marshall in the town of Kilgore, Bluebonnet visits her sister Irmadillo. Irmadillo and her husband “Dad” Joiner Dillo have four sons: Bradford, Lloyd, Hunt and Wildcatter. The four nephews tell Aunt Bluebonnet all about their oil-industry namesakes and take her on a tour of the East Texas Oil Museum, which features a trip back in time to Boomtown.

Bluebonnet explores the Ocean Star Museum in Galveston. She learns about life on the drilling rig, off-shore history, and rig safety through the tour guide and knowledgeable pelican, Red. Bluebonnet learns that the museum itself was once a working off-shore rig, where people lived and drilled for oil beneath the sea.

Heading to Franklin County in northeast Texas, Bluebonnet visits the historical sites of Mount Vernon. She meets “Dandy Don” on the Daphne Prairie, a short-ear owl named for Mount Vernon native, Don Meredith. They take a nocturnal tour of the town, only to discover at sunrise that they have been followed!

Bluebonnet is a traveling Texas armadillo, always eager to see new sights and make new friends. It’s no wonder she’s been dubbed “Everyone’s Favorite Armadillo” by Texas Highways magazine!