Life and adventures in The Hedge. Because you NEED an alligator in the backyard

Herman is dead

I have been alligator free for a week now. I must admit it feels a little weird.
The monster under my bed is gone. Okay, he was under my bedroom window – same difference.
My level of insanity has come to light.
I am not a Pet Whisperer. Nope, I am an Alligator Yeller.
Herman and I had it out more than once. I would stand in the grass and yell,
“I can see you Herman! Go away you stupid alligator! Don’t you know you’re supposed to be afraid of humans? Scram stupid alligator.”
This would be followed by a hail of rocks & confirmation that it was a good thing I never aspired to be a pitcher. Herman would slink away & hide – his feelings hurt.
Yes, I stood and yelled at an alligator 30ft away.
The trapper was shocked I’d let him stay in the yard this long. My good old boy trapper said he’d be afraid of messing with Herman. Turns out, Herman was just over 11 feet long. A full fledged scare the hell out of you monster. Cool
All along – I had been messing with Herman – chasing him off. I guess that makes me more than a little crazy.

Now this was the part of the story that cracked me up.

The pond where Herman lived has town houses along two sides. Herman hung out in a corner. That is where we trapped his scaly butt. On this corner live a couple of young guys in their 20’s. I haven’t met them yet – they moved in over the summer. (Replacing Stitch the dog & his family, dang it we should have kept Stitch and family.)

I am outside in the pouring rain. Thank you Hurricane Irene. The trapper is here and has already used the bang-stick on Herman once. Herman is mostly dead. Trapper tapes shut Herman’s massive jaw. Crooked jaw actually – Herman tried so desperately to escape the baited hook & line he was on he actually broke his jaw.

The two young guys are standing at their sliding glass widow taking pictures. They won’t come out. BANG. Trapper decided Herman needed a second bullet to the brain. The water gets bloody. Both of Herman’s eyes are closed. Herman is officially dead.

I let my 10 year old daughter photograph dead Herman – up close. I signal to the guys that Herman was dead. They still stay behind their glass, petrified of a dead alligator.
Trapper comes back. He’s been trying to get help to remove Herman from the water. The permit had said Herman was 5-6ft. I had told Fish and Wildlife he was at least 8 ft. I guess they thought I was exaggerating. Umm, nope he was bigger. Apparently all of the trapper’s co-workers had tied one on in honor of Irene. No one was answering the phone on this lovely morning. Pouring rain and gusty winds and an 11foot gator aren’t the perfect cure for a hang over? Who knew?!
Anyway the trapper & I signal the two men to come out. We frigging need help. They continue to shake in their shoes & refuse to come out.
We can’t just leave a dead alligator lying in the backyard & wait for help. Getting this alligator out is now going to be up to me, my daughter and the trapper. Their goes my video-shoot of the alligator coming out of the water. Damn it!
Instead, I’m driving the battered up pick up truck down the street. The alligator is tied by a rope to the bumper. The trapper is guiding the gator. My daughter is yelling driving instructions. Someone should have been shooting video for sure!!!

I’m thinking – stupid boys. One of you dumb asses could have been driving the full size truck instead of the short fat lady! We could have had video AND still photography.

My daughter did find it to be the thrill of her life. Having Scarlet Fever came in handy that day! One sick day she’ll never forget! Admittedly – she said the gator was still kind of scary dead, taped up & lying in the front yard. Curiosity won out though – she held the tape measure when it was time to measure the gator.

The gator was gone. I walked around to the backyard. The two wimpy guys with their cameras were standing on their porch. Still to afraid to venture forth and see the fate of the alligator. I did shout over to them: “The gator’s gone. He was dead the whole time you were taking pictures. I was signally for you to come out because we NEEDED HELP.”
Doubt I made any friends, freaking wimpy men. A 10 year old girl is braver. Go figure.
At least Herman is dead. Someone will be enjoying a beer with Herman real soon – he’ll be a fine appetizer.


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