Can there be such a thing as a funny gator story? Well, yes. Of course.
An older Floridian, Ray, who spent part of his childhood growing up in Saint Augustine tells the story of his grandmother’s front porch and “George.” According to Ray, George was about a 10 foot long “inmate” of the 1950s Florida attraction, The Alligator Farm.
For whatever reason, occasionally George would escape the compound and wander off down the road. Ray said George liked the geography of his grandmother’s front porch. Ray’s grandmother would come home from running her errands to find the big lizard sleeping in her way of the front door to her house. She would cuss out the ’gator, use the back door to enter, and call her husband to tell him get a hold of The Alligator Farm so they could come down and collect George.
After a while, one of the caretakers would walk down the street from the farm carrying a poking stick and wearing a top hat. He would slowly amble up to the porch in the Florida heat, tap the ’gator on the head to wake him up, and say, “Com’on, George, time to git on home.”
One of Ray’s earliest memories is of the caretaker walking George down the street tapping him on the back to keep him going in the right direction back to The Alligator Farm.
Another Floridian tells of how he met his new neighbors. Coming home from work one day, one neighbor asked if he had seen their cat. “He is a big, fuzzy, lovable gray tabby.”
“You have a cat you let outside?”
“Why, yes, he has always enjoyed going out and around the house.”
“My wife and I have two cats and we won’t let them outside at all.”
“Well, we have eagles flying in the area along with hawks; they can pick up a cat and be gone with him in the blink of an eye.” Pointing to the pond near their house, he added, “We also have alligators.”
The two were from California and totally ignorant of life, living, and the wildlife of Florida. The woman from California looked doubtfully at the Floridian and asked, “You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. I wouldn’t let my cats out of the house for all the tea in China.” At this, the Californian became a little more concerned about the fate of her gray tabby cat.
A couple of days later, the Floridian drove home again and as he passed the pond, there was the ’gator. He went right to his neighbor’s door and knocked. He announced the presence of the ’gator and the couple nervously chuckled. Then he led them to the pond.
There, silently and slowly swimming just underneath the water was a juvenile alligator. He was only about four or five feet long; definitely large enough to eat a cat.
The people from California were shocked! There was actually a big, cat-eating lizard living in the pond.
“Did you ever find your cat?”
“Yes, we did, and Dudley is never leaving the house again.”
Of course, Dudley became a pest begging to go out. The humans in the house had to either acquiesce or go insane. It took Dudley about a week to train his masters to the proper frequency of his outings.