I tell you what -- I respect alligators. They're big and they've got teeth. And they can swim a lot better than I can. Not sure if they could run as fast as I could if one was after me -- don't really want to find out. I'm afraid the answer might be why, yes they can, you silly human.
Anyway, Augusta is not known for having alligators though, on occasion, one will swim up the Savannah River and make itself known (to some consternation and eventual removal). I don't know if this is where this one came from but, for several years, an alligator has made its home in a pond behind Brown's Feed and Seed. This particular place is not out in the country but on one of our busiest roads -- it used to be more rural but not any more. I think I remember hearing about this before but, until recently, it was nothing that was on my mind.
Until someone killed it -- decapitated it and took its tail.
Now, alligators aren't cute and cuddly -- and, frankly, I wouldn't want one in my back yard -- I don't even like those little green lizards -- but whoever did this is just plain mean. They are also poachers.
Now, in spite of the yuck factor involved in this -- and some pity for the reptile -- an alligator really doesn't belong in an area where people live and work. Of course in coastal areas in the south, alligators are all over the place -- and near people all the time. So, not sure how this is any different, other than, like snow, we aren't really equipped for them around here. I would assume most people know they're dangerous but, hey, some folks don't know coffee is hot so whatever.
There are people who are incensed that there is a higher reward for information about an alligator-killing than there would be for a human death. Maybe that's not right but I think it's probably the out-of-the-ordinary factor more than anything else which gets people's attention. And, really, you know, folks ought to give info about a human murder, anyway, without waiting for a reward. But I digress.
Here's another gator story:
Several years ago, we were vacationing on Kiawah Island in South Carolina where alligators abound. We were staying in a condo on a lagoon and the kids and I were on the banks, throwing bread to turtles -- by the way, that's a mistake. Mark was on higher ground and he suddenly said, "Get up here now".
Well, me being me, this is usually where I would say, "What's happening? What's going on? I don't wanna', ain't gonna', can't make me..."
But, there was something in his voice which told me I needed to move and I needed to move now. I pushed the kids up the bank ahead of me and, as I climbed up, I asked him if it was an alligator.
"Yes," he said.
Once away from the water, I turned back to look. Yep, it was a gator alright. A big one -- probably a six-footer. And there we'd been, some three or four feet away from him.
But all he wanted was some bread.
Anyway, I feel bad about this particular -- and now dead -- gator. I guess someone has a trophy for their wall. And made a meal (or several) out of his tail.
All I know is I'd have to be mighty hungry to eat an alligator.
But it would probably be better than him eating me.
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When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus