A Performance Piece Rendered on Screen
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 seen me grab that turtle from his sunny spot by the water hyacinths. When I broke through to the meat, those tourists thought a rifle 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 skin the 'gator right out here and cut up the tail meat for Cajun delight. The hide gets made into boots.
The poachers never got me, though. Grown 'gators missed their chance too. I had to be careful when I was young, but now, I'm the king of this here swamp.
Springtime is my favorite time of year when Spanish Moss flutters 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 'gators bellow right back. When one of them judges Old Bull fit, we spin like two demons in a whirlpool.
She'll be building a nest out of mud and sticks. When the eggs hatch and that fierce old momma 'gator hears those young 'uns grunting, she gently pulls the nest apart and tenderly frees them. That's when she won't want Old Bull around because we've been known to eat our own.
Maybe I'll wander off and watch those fishing boats go past. Perhaps one of them will flip over. Man, fish, bird, or turtle, I get my dinner.
Look over 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 before he can be king of my swamp.