Fun and Games at Someone Else’s Corral
Have you ever seen a duck beat up a dog? I have. I know a couple with a large house. They have a large backyard to match. The house and backyard sit along a canal. The canal is infested with ducks - large, ugly ducks. Sorry, I know ducks have a very positive image, but these ducks are from hunger, and I think they know it. They look like a hybrid between a more conventional species of duck and a turkey. Imagine a duck with the face of a turkey. Ugly! And big; much larger than an everyday, run of the mill duck.
The ducks help themselves to everyone’s property. They’re all over the place. One of the couple’s dogs, a breed that’s a cross between a Chihuahua and a Papillion, took exception to the intrusion of one of the ducks into ‘his’ backyard, and decided to matters into his own muzzle.
Gavalt! The duck grabbed the canine with its bill and proceeded to beat the pooch with its wings. The pooch was just a pup. Dummy. The dog yelped and screamed. What a scene - it could have been of Mohammed Ali attending a Shalom Zachor.
Once the duck had had enough, it let the dog go, jumped into the water (I’m glad it didn’t take the pooch with him), and proceeded to very nonchalantly clean itself free of doggy contaminant. What a champ. Yech!
The large backyard that sits along a canal has a pier that leads to a boat gazebo. The couple had a young visitor who likes to fish, so I fished with him. He caught a catfish (not kosher). The catfish managed to just about swallow the lure. There we were, the three of us, the kid and me attempting to free the lure from the fish’s mouth - and an alligator. Wonderful!
An alligator had decided to establish its territory in the canal off the couple’s house. Large ducks evidently serve as a gustatory attraction, even if it is for members of a ‘lower’ evolutionary caste.
The reptile decided that lunchtime was in order and, evidently tired of feathers, chose instead to inform us of his appetite. It swam under the pier immediately beneath our feet.
We saw it coming, and not too slowly, nostrils and eyes peeping just above the waterline.
Have you ever stood 5 or 6 inches above a patrolling alligator with its intended meal in your hands? Dogs and alligators invoke different protocols for begging for food. Perhaps we were its intended meal. I tend to function under the conviction that I was not born to serve as a reptile’s shachita.
I immediately recalled my penchant for panic, cut the fishing line, and tossed the gasping catfish into the water, besides which catfish are not fun fish to handle. It's good to be rid of a catfish. Catfish have very large, and effective, spines located along their dosal and pectoral fins. Bye bye catfish. Bye bye alligator.
I appreciate the fact that alligators are not adept climbers.