What’s that man lookin’ at, down here in this cypress swamp, so thick with branches that sun barely gets through? He’s lookin’ at me, Old Bull ’Gator, and I’m lookin’ at him. Why don’t you come on over for dinner?
Speaking of dinner, you should have been here when I grabbed that turtle from his sunny spot over there by the water hyacinths. When I broke through to meat, those tourists thought a riffle shot had gone off. Fish, man, bird, or turtle, I get my dinner.
Sometimes though, man eats us. He’ll come down to this swamp and put a bullet in a ’gator’s brain. Those poachers don’t waste any time. They skin the ’gator out right here and cut up the tail meat for Cajun delight. The hide gets made into boots.
The poachers never got me though. Bigger ’gators missed their chance too. I had to be careful when I was young, because we been known to eat our own. But now, I’m king of this here swamp.
Springtime is my favorite time of year, with Spanish Moss fluttering in the breeze, like curtains in an old mansion house. That’s when I get to bellowing. My bellows echo off the cypress trunks and all through the swamp. Those lady ’gator’s bellow right back. When one of them judges Old Bull fit, we spin like two demons in a whirlpool.
Pretty soon, she’ll be building a nest out of mud and sticks. When the eggs hatch that fierce old momma ’gator hears those young’uns grunting She gently pulls the nest apart and tenderly frees the baby ’gators.
That’s when she won’t want Old Bull around, because we’ve been known to eat our own.
Maybe I’ll just wonder off and watch those fishing boats go by. Perhaps one of them will flip over. Man, fish, bird or turtle, I get my dinner.
Look over yonder at those little ’gators sunning themselves on their momma’s snout. I believe one of them is a baby bull. He will have to grow some before he can be king of my swamp.