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George The Alligator

Source: Personal experience

Read this and other stories in the book, Noticing Nature, by Chuck Bonner. Also available in e-book format for Amazon Kindle.

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On one of my early trips to Okefenokee Swamp, my parents and all my younger siblings came along. They were delighted to see the wildlife, and especially the alligators, so close to our canoes.

As usual, the large alligators were quite calm and allowed us to get very close. This time, though, we saw the smallest alligator I had seen in the wild, about three feet long, and it was rather nervous.

It was resting on a grassy bank of the canal near a stand of small cypress trees. As we drifted closer, it poised itself for escape. A little closer still, and it leaped into the air, just like a frog. It flew a distance about twice its own length toward the water.


It smacked snout-first into a cypress tree about two feet off the bank.

It lay there, apparently stunned for a couple of seconds, most of its body in the water, and its tail still on the bank. Then, recovering what little senses it had, it disappeared into the deeper water, leaving an alligator-shaped patch of muddy water beside the cypress tree.

Epilogue: In case you didn't catch it, the title of this story was inspired by the cartoon character, "George of the Jungle." "Watch out for that tree!"

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Copyright © 2007, Charles J. Bonner, All Rights Reserved