From Alligators in my Florida ditch, Bigfoot in the Northwestern woods, Kipsy in the Hudson River, to the Hodags in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, there are beasts among us.
Let’s talk about my alligator first. Why? Well, because I am writing this, so I get to choose what goes first.
You are welcome and even encouraged to comment and kick your Beastly story to the front of the line. Until then Andy the Alligator gets first mention. Yes, I have named him/her, all good tourist traps have cute names.
On Sunday morning our next door neighbor, Linda called to tell us there was an alligator in our backyard. Did we call animal control or Walden Shores management? Balderdash! NO! I grabbed my IPad, Terry grabbed his IPhone and we banged through the backdoor so fast we left it ajar so we could capture the beast with every pixel available.
Unfortunately, having left the door ajar, Emma, our pug mix scooted right out behind us, slowing our picture taking expedition to a halt, as we scrambled to catch her before she caught sight of the biggest gecko she had ever seen. That dog loves chasing geckos…and face it to her one reptile resembles another. I was sure Andy would scramble back into his/her hidey hole, the culvert that runs under Holmes Drive at the corner. But, nah! he was unperturbed by the human/dog circus, so we captured a few good shots.
Frankly, I was sure he would be gone by the time we got back from church, or by yesterday or at least by this morning, but Andy seems to have taken a shine to the relative safety of the ditch and the culvert. Yesterday, throughout the day, I noticed folks edging up to ditch to catch a glimpse and couple of photos, cars slowed to a crawl, stopped, heads popped out of windows and more pictures were taken. And, this is in a place where the lake is full of alligators, but the ditches, only a few.
Observations of Andy suggest he can maneuver both forward and backwards moving to and from the ditch bank to the culvert. He loves the sunshine, sunbathing sans sunscreen for the better part of the day….if you need a testimony for sun screen take a look at Andy’s skin. Stories of his antics that will surely lend themselves to embellishment have begun to circulate.
One small dog on leash with her owner sniffed a little to close to Andy’s comfort zone. Opening one slanted reptilian eye and then the other, Andy opened his toothy jaws, snorted fire, and…..
Well, actually, Andy hissed–new fact about alligators, they hiss–and the dog slipped out of its harness, left owner behind holding the leash and beat a fast path home.
After the steady stream of visitors to the Kisler’s Alligator Sanctuary yesterday, at the suggestion of my good friend, Linda Turner, I am considering putting a lovely viewing bridge–probably two planks–over the ditch, setting up a small lemonade stand with alligator memorabilia for sale, and charging $2 to view and $5 for pictures with an additional $5 for a family grouping with Andy. It is the Florida-way!
I have not discussed these arrangements with Andy, but I did mention it at breakfast this morning. While I did not hear a round of applause for such a brilliant use of something I did nothing to bring about, I still think Andy chose his spot knowing about my tendency to create sideshows wherever I go.
So drop by if you are in the area, Andy apparently loves sightseers and he hasn’t grabbed a leg YET!
Tomorrow or Friday…if you read this you know I do not do it everyday…I want to introduce you to a BEAST known by some in Walden Shores already…THE HODAG of Rhinelander.