National Alligator Day

December 9, 2013 at 9:53 am | Posted in J. Frederick | Leave a comment
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natl alligator dayIt’s hard to believe that there was a time when November 2 wasn’t known everywhere as National Alligator Day. Try (if you can) to recall those primitive days when we didn’t spend the second day of every November visiting our local swamp, zoo, aquarium, wildlife refuge, reptile farm, or Gator Estate to look upon those majestic creatures and their powerful jaws. Would you believe that there was once a time when we didn’t devote hours – every 2nd of November! – to the cleaning of their cages, the organization and fluffing of their nests, the polishing of their eggs and teeth, and the singing of alligator rounds. I am no longer young, so now I can only dimly recall a time when I would spend every November 2 doing something other than cradling a stuffed alligator close to my chest, or eating alligator-shaped candies and sweetbreads, or throwing open the doors of my home to let the neighborhood alligators wander inside, to make themselves at home under the bed, in the tub, behind the couch, tormenting my pack of dogs with their powerful jaws and defecating on my nice new rug – mere inconveniences that I suffer gladly, all in the name of this county’s proudest day, November 2! Were we ever so young, Brian? Truly, did we ever really let a November 2 pass unobserved, not fervently sketching their powerful jaws in our journals, or constructing vast cardboard alligator sculptures at the edge of a quarry, or egging the American Crocodile Society headquarters? Oh Brian, Brian, give it to me true, don’t gloss over it, don’t sugarcoat it. I can take it. Look back on those rash boys we once were, those brave idealistic boys, and tell me, Brian, level your soft gaze at me and tell me, as you did once, at dusk, as we sat on Commons: who were we? What were we? Not men, surely not men. Not yet. That would come later. When you left for school and I went off to war. The years, Brian, the years made men of us, as they always do to all foolish boys, surely, as sure as the powerful jaws of an alligator.


-J. Frederick

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