Stopping by Depot Park pond on a frosty Florida winter’s evening

Ok, I’m no Robert Frost.

I neither have promises to keep nor miles to go before I sleep.

Personally, my favorite poet was Ogden Nash.

Who famously wrote: When called by a panther, don’t anther.

Which I always considered to be the best advice any poet has ever proffered to any carbon-based life form ever.

But I digress.

The point is that there I was. Walking through Depot Park. In the absolute depths of a frigid Florida winter.

I mean, the sun was already dipping toward the horizon. And what started out to be in the high ‘70s afternoon was rapidly descending toward the dreaded high ‘60s.

Oh the humanity!

I expected Jim Cantor to show up at any moment.

But instead I saw this gator.

He was a little fella as GNV gators go.

Maybe five feet max. Keeping still as a painted ship on a painted sea. Minding his own business. No doubt trying not to be noticed. Trying to blend in.

Because the thing about Depot Park is that even though it is practically within spitting distance of Paynes Prairie – where the big gators growl – they really do try to keep those rascally reptiles at, um, arm’s length.

Because, you know, kids and dogs and stuff.

Wouldn’t do to rat him out, I thought. Maybe just pretend I didn’t see him.

I mean, seriously, how many kids and dogs can a five-foot gator make away with before somebody notices?

An academic question, really. He’ll probably be gone by tomorrow.

And, lest we forget, he and his kind were here long before we thought to put down all of this concrete and asphalt.

Still, in tribute to my hero Ogden Nash, let me take a crack at this one.

When called by a gator….

don’t natter.

Eat your heart out, Bob Frost.

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