When my British Twitter friend, Felicity Lennie, teasingly suggested I write a story about gators, a fanciful short one ensued. The Dora Canal is near my 'back yard,' and connects two large lakes in Lake County, Florida. The picture is one that I took while kayaking on the Canal. Here is the fanciful story.
A gentle movement of the water rocked my kayak. “It does not get much better than this,” I whispered as the sun offered its final kiss goodnight. Sighing in contentment, I put on a visor-type headlight from my pack to help me find my way from the canal into the small lagoon of home. Just as I dipped my paddle into the water, two loud slaps hit the water behind me causing me to jerk around much too fast. Night time loud noises in a swamp-like canal can get scary. My kayak dipped down, flipped and into the canal I went. Grabbing the paddle, adrenalin pumping into overdrive, I treaded water, turning round and round looking for the source of those slaps. My headlight was still operational so I could see several pairs of eyes, glowing deep red: Gators. They were not moving though. They were in the distance. Keeping an eye on them, I got the kayak flipped back over.
As I caught my breath, still treading water and looking for a cypress knee big enough to climb up on and reseat myself back into the kayak, a monstrous-looking head with glowing red eyes surfaced in front of me. I screamed then, loudly, and kept screaming, thrashing fearfully about with my paddle. The huge gator never moved. Adrenalin finally empty, worn out, I simply gave up, muttering, “This is it,” facing the demon that would end my life.
The gator never showed any aggressive kind of move. Instead, continuing to look steadily at me, he spoke. Yes, in my mind, he-spoke-to-me. I heard thoughts that were not mine. “It is all okay,” his thoughts said. “I stunned a water moccasin heading to you. They slither into anything and sink their venom into any living thing so I slapped this one away. Some kinds of beings, even you two-legged types, are not tuned in to the synergistic flow of the universe. They act out of very basic instincts for survival, unable to tune into having any further purpose in the bigger picture. You are one of the two-legged beings and I am one of the big clawed, scary-looking beings who are tuned in. You have nothing to fear. I innately knew that I was to take action, to save you. This is not the way you will go though, if it was, it would simply have been your way, your time. Climb onto my back. It’s bumpy, a little uncomfortable but tough enough to support you. I’ll get you back to your lagoon.” Still in a state of conscious disbelief yet also in touch with the flow of innate understanding, I pulled my body onto the back of this gator and grabbed the rope of my kayak.