The Grand Master Ninjadilloe often used silence to cow his subjects. He was neither a good nor an evil dilloe. He was simply what he needed to be to maintain his hold on the Great Burrow.
Some Ninjadilloes wept on hearing they had to enter the Great Burrow. Many of those who did never returned to their own Dilloe-burrows.
"He is one tough Dilloe," they whispered among themselves.
"He is not a gifted administrator," the brave ones said.
"He can strut while lying down," the braver ones said.
"He has the worst case of LIttle Dilloes Disease I have ever seen," the bravest one cried, tossing his head, as best one can toss a tiny head set up against an armor shell, and with the benefit of a two inch neck.
Really, it was not so much a toss as a minor gyration.
Actually, one could hardly have noticed the toss, so the bravest fellow tried it again, this time turning his snout to emphasize his defiance.
"What are you doing?" said the Brave One.
"Have you dug up a bad grub?" the Braver One asked.
"You look like your neck hurts. Are you seeing a doctor, or a chiropractor?" the Brave One continued.
"You should see someone," Braver One announced. "My cousin had a tic like that and he has lost a lot of feeling in his left front talon."
"I'm just saying," he said, after a pause.
The Bravest One quit trying to use his minuscule neck to toss his tiny head. He was a bit miffed, not because they thought he he was suffering from a neuro-muscular disorder just because he wanted to throw back his pointed head like the Dilloes of old, who may or may not have tossed their heads to hiss at their natural predators. He was more upset because The Braver Dilloe had ended his argument by adding, "I'm just saying," after a pause and the Bravest One hated this phrase and other ones like "Yada, Yada, Yada," and "You're not all that," because empty phrases like those are linguistically nihilistic and language is important. Species that give up their ability to communicate deteriorate. They lose their place when they start to dumb things down to the lowest common level.
"We already live in holes in the ground," the Bravest One thought. "Where do we go from here?"
Meanwhile, bravado aside, Bozo-Dilloe waited in the Grand Burrow, with shaking shell.
He could have tossed his head, it was shaking so hard.
The Grand-Dilloe (the e added to the end of the name only when the armadillo became the NInjadilloe, or became the protected vassal of a particular Warrior-Dilloe) sighed inwardly as he made his marks on the parchment before him. His minions had devised a night raid on the Finity woman. He knew this from sources outside the Great Burrow. The presence of a lesser Ninjadilloe, like Bozo-Dilloe, meant the raid had gone poorly. If the Finity woman had been subdued, a greater Dilloe would have come to present some trophy to the Grand-Dilloe.
Instead, here was Bozo-Dilloe. He had been a poor choice for a Ninjadilloe. He had earned his caste in a very bad year for Dilloes, a drouth year when other, more daring Dilloes ventured far afield to find grub grounds for the armies. Bozo-Dilloe stayed close to the burrow, eating whatever he could find and telling funny stories to the lady-dilloes.
He was a taller than average dilloe, with a pleasing, if weak-appearing smile, and was considered amusing. He knew he could not handle field work. In the battles, he often covered his head and cried, or ran out of state, returning when things grew safer and other, braver Dilloes had paid for their courage with death or incapacity.
Most of them were squished on the highways of Texas.
Bozo-Dilloe held his place, in addition, because the Texas armadillo population had been decimated by women who thought it was so artsy-craftsy to get their shells, clean and paint them and set them in their yards for decoration.
The Grand-Dilloe could not bear to go down Taylor Road in Brock for years. Much of his army served as ornaments in the flower beds along Taylor.
"Once something like that catches on," he thought to himself, "it is hard to stop."
He sighed again, inwardly. He would have to acknowledge the presence of Bozo-Dilloe shortly. The poor Dilloe would faint if made to wait much longer.
"Oh, how I wish I had not destroyed the great Dilloe armies," he thought. He misplaced the thought he would not have the Great Burrow if other, better Dilloes had not been Semi-Tractor squished.
Meanwhile, the pusillanimous Bozo-Dilloe waited, shaking in his shell.