The same day we had our armadillo encounter, we also found a HUMAN BONE. That's right. As in Homo sapiens. It was the lower half of a femur (the thigh bone) down to, and including, the knee joint. We didn't think to take a picture of it. I can only assure you it's true.
We were on the back nine of our walk, as it were, when my husband veered off the path and picked up something behind a large tree. At first I thought it was a tree branch, the kind where the bark has peeled off to expose the smooth inside portion (the cambium?), but on closer inspection I realized it was a bone. Half of my brain yelled, "Holy crap! That's a human bone!", while the other half said, "No way, Jose. One does not stumble over human bones while out on a power walk."
"Is TOO a human bone!"
"Is NOT, dumb ass!"
"Hey!" (This from the ass in question.)
"Shut up, you! No one's talking to you!"
This interior, not to mention disturbing, conversation would have gone on indefinitely, except that my husband made the boner of all comments. "I think it's a cow bone," he said. COW?
"Ha, ha! He thinks it's a cow bone!"
"What a dumb ass!"
Our daughter, who took an anatomy and physiology class in high school, studied the bone and announced with all the gravity of one who has dissected fetal pigs and homeless cats, "It's a human femur." BINGO!
My husband pitched the bone back behind the tree, where it split neatly in half from the impact on the soft ground. I think the sudden realization that he might be holding somebody's personal body part goosed him. Also, he was worried he might get implicated in a murder. I know this because he asked, "Can you leave fingerprints on bones?"
All the way back to the car we bickered about the bone. I insisted he had a duty to report his finding to the police. Richard, however, was still half convinced the bone had bovine origins, and was not keen to be the laughing stock (get it?) of the Richardson police department.
"Hey, Stan. You hear about the guy who thought he found a human bone and it was really a COW bone? What a dumb ass!"
I kept after him and finally he consented to call the police, but only to shut me up, and not because he was channeling his inner Dudley Do-Right.
Calling 911 was out of the question:
Dispatcher: 911. Make it snappy; my shift's over in five minutes.
Husband: I found a bone.
Dispatcher: You found a bone?
Husband: My wife is making me call. She says it's my duty as a citizen, or some kind of feel-good crap like that.
Dispatcher: Sir, what kind of bone?
Husband: That's a good question. My wife and daughter think it's human. I think it's a cow bone.
Dispatcher: A cow bone? Sir, if this is a prank call, you could be in very big trouble.
Husband: No! No, no, no, no, no! It's not a prank. I really did find a bone, but it broke, and...
Dispatcher: It broke?
Husband: I threw it on the ground.
Dispatcher: You threw it on the ground?
Husband: Do you always repeat what people say? It's very annoying.
Dispatcher: Sir, why did you throw the bone on the ground?
Husband: Because I picked it up?
Dispatcher: You picked it up?
Husband: See, you're doing it again.
Dispatcher: Sir, when did you find this alleged human bone?
Husband: This afternoon, after we saw the armadillos...
Nah, 911 was clearly out of the question, so he called the RPD's main number and, feeling like an idiot (he told me), explained about the bone he'd found. To their credit, they took him seriously, or maybe it was a slow day --- it WAS a Sunday --- and arranged to meet him at the park. As my husband said afterwards, the officers were very nice, but it was embarrassing walking through a busy park accompanied by two uniformed lawmen, like he was a freshly caught pervert they had found lurking in the bushes.
Turns out, our daughter was correct; the bone was human, not bovine, equine, porcine, or any other kind of -ine. The officers bagged it and that was that. We have walked by the "crime scene", as we call it, several times since then, but to my disappointment, no other people pieces have turned up.
Nor have we seen our little armadillos.
Crime scene: http://nycrpd.org/?p=8827
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