My Husband Is The Alligator Hunter

I’m guessing you read the title to this post more than once. And now you’re looking to me for an explanation. And the explanation goes a little something like this.

A few days ago, Brian and I decided that it was far too pretty to stay inside. And so we ventured to one of our favorite spots: Cypress Gardens. A little wildlife reserve just a few miles from our home, Cypress is one of our “must visit” locales when spring hits full force. Among other things, the hiking, self-guided boat tours of the swamp, and beautiful foliage draws us there again and again.

On this particular day, we took our flat-bottomed boat out onto the black surface of the water with only one goal in mind: spot some alligators. Most of our friends who have visited Cypress Gardens in the past have reported sightings of the giant reptiles, but Brian and I had never seen one.

Until now.

We paddled slowly through the water, silent and watching. And when we spotted our first gator sliding slowly through the water, my husband turned into the Steve Irwin. (Without the thick accent. Or the all-khaki zoo outfit.)

Out of the blue, he started spouting off everything he ever learned about our scaly friends. I was busy snapping as many pictures as my memory card would hold, and so I just nodded a lot. Most everything I knew already, but I did learn a thing or two. (My husband is smart, ya’ll.)

Two gator sightings and ten minutes later, Brian noticed that the boat way in front of us had taken a wonky detour. Determined to see what they were staring at, he pointed our vessel in their general direction. And what we found was certainly not a disappointment. There, sunning on a log literally 3 feet from our boat, was a gator. She was about 7 feet long, and she didn’t even blink as we glided silently up next to her.

Again, I was furiously taking pictures. My husband, sitting behind me, kept whispering the word “Wow,” over and over again. And an image of him as Steve Irwin popped into my head.

We must have sat and stared at that alligator for at least 15 minutes. It wasn’t until we heard another family (this time with kids…very loud, very vocal, very not-conducive-to-watching-alligators-in-the-wild kids) paddling up behind us. Knowing they’d want a chance to see the alligator, too, we started heading for shore.

To say the experience was electrifying is a bit of an understatement. Brian kept looking over his shoulder to make sure she was still on her log and not following after us for a quick afternoon snack. We each commented later that it felt like we were being watched. The little hairs on my arms raise up just thinking about it.

Feet firmly back on terra firma, we walked around the rest of the park, enjoying the wildlife and spring flowers. As we approached one of several little bridges in the park, Brian took my hand and said “I wonder what they do if a gator gets into one of these little retaining ponds over night.”

“I’d say they probably move him, ASAP,” I replied. In that moment, I noticed a pretty bench nearby that I wanted to photograph. I released Brian’s hand and grabbed the camera that had been hanging around my neck. And as I raised it to take the photo, I was met with Brian’s  sharp intake of breath, followed with his arm thrown up in a defensive manner over my body.

“What? What is it??” I looked around frantically, thinking of snakes, wasps, or spiders.

And that’s when I saw it. The alligator sitting near the path, mouth agape, still as a statue.

Because it was a statue.

Seriously.

We both laughed for approximately 10 minutes. And then Brian turned to me and said, “You’re totally going to blog about this aren’t you?”

Being the good sport he is, he suggested the next 3 posed photos for your enjoyment. (Isn’t he so generous, readers?) I embellished them a bit with photoshop, but you’ll get the gist.

It’s really something special when, after almost 8 years of marriage, you learn something new about your spouse. And on this day, beneath the canopy of live oak trees, I learned 3 new things about Brian. Number one: his knowledge of alligators is way more extensive than I would have realized. Number two: He may have been Steve Irwin in a different life. And Number Three: He would go to the ends of the earth to protect me from a concrete alligator.

Thanks honey. You’re all aces.

It’s that time again, friends! I’m sharing my work
with all my pals over at Yeah Write.
Mostly because I’m curious to see what they’ll
have to say to my husband. The Alligator Hunter.
*snort*

25 thoughts on “My Husband Is The Alligator Hunter

  1. Lenore

    You’re hilarious, Abby! I am certain I will sleep more soundly, knowing your Alligator Hunter Husband is on the job protecting you from the cement beasts! Priceless!!

    1. Abby

      Thanks Lenore! He also protects me from spiders, bees, large credit card bills and also, spiders. (Because they’re my LEAST favorite.)

  2. abookformydaughter.com

    This was so funny! Whenever we visit family in Sanibel Island, Florida, we go to a refuge to see the alligators, but we have never seems any. Not ever. But then reading your post—and thinking about you on that little boat—I have somehow lost my desire to be THAT close to an alligator. It is HUGE! Great post!

    1. Abby

      There’s definitely a “holy crap am I really doing this?” moment that you have when the gator makes eye contact with you from less than 3 feet away.

  3. Louise Ducote

    Your husband is awesome! This place looks SO much like Caddo Lake in East Texas. My parents used to live there and my mom lived in fear that her little lap dog would get eaten by an alligator. Great post!

    1. Abby

      Thanks! He’s also quite humble and enjoying every ounce of love he’s getting from all these comments! (The humble part was a joke. The rest is true.)

  4. Susan

    CRIKEY! i’m going to go around all day tomorrow saying that. sounds like you’ve caught yourself a good one – the spouse, i mean. although i dare you to buy him a concrete alligator for christmas next year. just sayin’.

  5. Jen

    Hahaha!! I was a little nervous at first. I love all of the Steve Irwin references…I can totally hear him saying those things!
    Made me laugh, though 🙂

  6. Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy

    HA!!! This is GREAT. I love the entire thing. this sounds like an experience my hubby and I might share. And I’ve heard of Cypress Gardens but have never been. We’ve been to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine though. Fun times.

    1. Abby

      Next time you’re in the Charleston area you should stop in and take a peek. It’s worth the price of admission just to get out on that water and enjoy the peace and quiet.

  7. k

    So freaking cute. I’ve been fooled by a statue or two. It’s better than thinking a ‘gator is a statue and have it turn out not to be, right?

  8. Kristin @ What She Said

    That is so sweet. Now you know… he’d be willing to catch a grenade for you. Throw his hand on a blade for you. Jump in front of a train for you. He’d die for you, baby – and this you know because of a concrete alligator.

    And I laughed out loud at, “Crikey! She’s a whoppa!” But how did you know she was a “she?”

    1. Abby

      We didn’t. Just guessing. I overheard some of the park rangers talking about “the female on the log.” I just presumed they were talking about our gator. Apparently there was a male lurking somewhere nearby that’s over 10 feet long!! (Glad we missed him. Just sayin’.) LOL

  9. Jackie

    I will admit, I was terrified at first. I have re-occurring nightmares of gators in my swimming pool, so I was a bit worried a for an attack. A statue, priceless!

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