While vacationing on Hilton Head Island this past week, my family and I took an alligator boat tour. We were lucky to see many gators on the hour-long search through the fresh water lake and waterways, but our favorite was a large male sprawled on a log he shared with a turtle.
In a row, as if the alligator was following the turtle, the two rested. We wondered how a 7 foot long alligator and a large turtle could sit in harmony without one of them getting eaten (the underdog being the turtle, of course). It could’ve been as the guide said, “Some turtles are too big for the alligators’ mouths.” We chose to imagine them as old friends instead.
“Good Morning, Sally,” Norman, the gator offered sleepily.
“Mornin’ Norman,” Sally slowly replied in her southern drawl.
They’d talk about how cold it was for April, and that the vegetation was still stunted since the last hurricane hit, but mostly they just laid there, content with the little bit of warmth the sun provided, until…
“Not that boat again,” Norman grumbled. “Why do those weird human animals want to watch us sleep? I imagine it’s like watching an egg that’s not even close to hatching – completely uneventful!”
“I just dozed off and started dreamin’ too.” Sally complained one eye peeking out.
“Well, they’re getting too close for my comfort.” Norman admitted nervously.
Staring straight ahead, the turtle advised the anxious alligator out of the side of her clenched mouth, “Just freeze and don’t look 'em in the eye.”
The boat got about 10 feet from the log and…PLOP!! Into the water Norman went, while Sally remained like a statue, propped up on their log.
With that, the guide drove us to the other side of the lake, but as we circled back around one last time, we saw Norman preparing to crawl up once again to his sunny spot behind Sally.