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May 22, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Boys of Summer.

1948. Two boys. 1948 Ft.Macleod, Alberta/Galt Museum/flickr/

Optimism of youth. Summer and all things await. (1948/Galt Museum/flickr/

On the verge of – well, what? Everyone remembers: that too old to crave family trips to Disneyland, yet too young to be of any interest other than simple toying by the teenage girls lounging around the pool. (“Please. You’re blocking the sun. Move. More. Farther. Another step. Oh, sorry. Didn’t see that pool edge?”)

They were betweens. One foot leaping towards adulthood, and the other? Stuck. Humiliating stuck in not cool kiddie world.

Evenings were even worse. Daylight Savings Time a torment. So many hours of promise, if only they were older…

Not having wheels or older siblings they could nag until included, their swaggering while roaming was limited.

Certainly not tagging along with mom to the park.

The only swings they rode now were only moody ones.

If only they could get to Wendy’s or McDonald’s.

What a coup it would be to be the first ones in the group to post a “Snatch and Dash.” on Facebook. Reputations made!

A barefooted escape? Smacked too much of World’s Funniest Videos or worse, Cops if they didn’t scramble fast enough.

Besides it was hot. There had to be alternatives.

Wait. The neighbors are out of town for Memorial Day. Would be a shame to waste that sparkling pool.

The fence was no problem.

Everyone into the pool! (Dare ya’ to post some skinny dipping pictures on Facebook.)

Did they gleefully yell too loudly?

Did someone see the epic splashes of their cannonball contest?


What is there to say when the cops arrive?

two small alligators swimming in a lovely pool in Fulshear, TX/ pool party!/

Be very still and maybe they’ll just leave. Act like you own the place. (

Maybe smile broadly with “Boys will be boys?”

Go, gators, go!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

gator in a net.. Alligator catching a ride./

“Give me a lift home? That would be great.” (

Oh, a bonus:

Just to show gators aren’t the stodgy stuck-in-the-muds. Here’s the one who actually started the current “Grab and Dash” fad at fast food restaurants (In 2014. Early adopter).

He hid in the flowerbed against the side of the building until time was right to make his move. Patient guy. Waited 30 minutes (I guess the fries weren’t ready.)

You can see he’s just exiting the McDonald’s drive-thru after a firm, but polite “No all beef patty, special sauce for you.”

And add insult to injury, a cop who (must have been near-sighted to mistake him for a pup?) put a dog collar on him before hauling him back to the lake. The gator may have a thick hide, but will hard to live down being leashed like prey.

Have a Great Memorial Day holiday. Hope it’s gator free. (They do, too.)

gator leaving McDonald's (

Gator going. McDonald’s sign says “Thank you.”(



  1. shoreacres / May 22 2015 12:35 pm

    Ah, yes. ‘Tis the season. Divers in the marinas sometimes encounter them, too. Talk about a need for hazardous pay. The line I liked best? “The only swings they rode now were moody ones.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 1:08 pm

      Gators seem to have been rather quiet this year. Or maybe some people are learning to leave them alone. Saw one giant one was captured a bit north…and game wardens were checking on the legality of that one.
      That line. Looks like it ought to be the first line in a book? Thanks for swimming by to chat. (and Boy is it super nice outside – coooool and breezy. Can we keep it? Please? Let’s start a petition….)


  2. easyweimaraner / May 22 2015 1:05 pm

    We had one cayman in a lake once. His owner thought it could be funny to bring his pet to the beach and there Mr. Croc disappeared. And the whole land signed petitions for saving Sammy the cayman… he even got a song and was a guest on all channels. Sadly he had to move to a zoo because the owner was not “qualified” to have an exotic animal :o(


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 2:22 pm

      Maybe Mr Croc is safer in the zoo – don’t want anyone making shoes out of him! He sounds like a real celebrity.I’ll have to try and find his song. (Once you’re famous, Sammy, people just won’t leave you alone.) Hope Sammy has plenty of sunny banks to bake on, lots of water to wade in, and many memories of freedom to dream about so he lives a long and happy life. Paw waves from this gator free zone! Thanks for wading in with a comment


  3. Paul / May 22 2015 1:20 pm

    Ha! From up here in Canada that looks very funny Phil – but we’re over 1000 miles away. I imagine it could be cause for concern when it is your pool.Ha!(Sorry) The most dangerous thing we get in the spring here in the city are ducklings. Gasp! I know, dangerous stuff. If one goes quackers, it could get hairy. ha! Out in rural areas it is a bit different. This time of year brings wandering bear cubs and moose and such which sometimes end up places they shouldn’t be. Years ago I was trucking and had my girlfriend Maureen with me. The approach to the company terminal was through a state park in Maine (to Meddybemps). It was a narrow two lane paved but unlined road that wound through the park. The sun was just rising about 5 am on a beautiful day when we rounded a corner and there sat a baby bear with her back legs splayed out as they are wont to do – right in the center of the road with no way around her. I got stopped (knowing there was a lot of wildlife around I was going slow) about 50 feet from the cub and there we sat. Maureen had never seen a bear in the wild before and was quite taken by the cub. She wanted to get out and pat it and I stopped her and insisted she lock her door. She was perplexed and opened her window a crack to listen to the little one who was grunting. Maureen asked why she couldn’t get out and I told her to wait and she would see. The cub was looking around and not paying much attention to us as we sat there for about 5 minutes watching. Maureen was getting restless and wanted to know what was going to happen. I told her to be patient. Sure enough, a few minutes later there was a very loud Ruuur! Ruur! and the bushes right beside Maureen’s door started to shake. The deep rumbling growl repeated and the little cub jumped to her feet and ran into the bush towards the noise. Maureen jumped at the sound so close and asked what that was. i explained that Mother bears are never very far from the cubs this time of year so whenever one came across a lone cub – one should get away fast or remain inside. Bears are quite smart and have been known to hit and open doors, hence the locks.

    Great post Phil. Ahhh, spring and wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 2:47 pm

      No, no matter where you are, gator antics are funny. Actually they aren’t much of a problem if you just know they are moving around a lot in spring looking for dates and that’s when they can get aggressive. The little guys, not having much chance to party, show up in the oddest places trying to convince the girls they’re cool. Who could resist a beau showing up with a happy meal?
      We grew up camping in national parks – but never in Yellowstone. Aways a cabin there as the bears were plentiful – and very clever. Ran into a few at the community showers.Was it the shampoo or soap they wanted?
      Funny story! A few years back we were back at Yellowstone and the bored teenagers in back wanted to know why the traffic was stopped and what could possibly be taking so long…then one turned to look out the side window and came nose to nose with a rather large curious buffalo. Worth the trip.
      Thanks for herding a comment this way!


      • Paul / May 22 2015 3:07 pm

        Ha! Too funny – a buffalo. Bears learn very fast – they don’t do complex behaviours but it is surprising what they can do. There are verified stories of them knocking on the door and when it is answered coming in for food. They will also steal fish from fishermen and have, in places gotten so lazy that they wait for the fishermen to catch their fish and then take it away. ha! Living around them can be a challenge in our rural areas.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 4:09 pm

          They have no problem opening ice chests or managing food thought safe hanging on ropes from trees. They do use tools…and apparently are interested in learning to drive. Never forget on tourist family from NYC watching in disbelief as a couple of bears were seated inside their very lovely sedan’s front bucket seats ripping out leather arm rests, the headliner, and other parts as the pair redecorated the vehicle to their liking….while munching on peanut butter and potato chips that had been in a backseat picnic basket. Door handles? No problemo.
          I love bears. Never understood the parents who would walk up to one sitting by the road and try to put their toddler on it for a picture. (Hey, you want a picture? Talk to my agent. Peanut butter sandwiches, marshmallows or chips are always good…) Bears have claws…and those smilie teeth.
          Great links! (Some of them do figure out how to get the fishermen to do all their work for them. Watching bears stand in the rivers while salmon leap all around them is really amazing. Smarter than the average bears!) Thanks for feeding the comment pile

          Liked by 1 person

  4. islandeditions / May 22 2015 1:28 pm

    Always a pleasure to read your blog posts, philmouse! I never know where you’re going to lead me …


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 2:26 pm

      Must be summer: kids are playing running of the bulls in burgers joints and gators are in the pool discussing how they started it all. Life is out there waiting to amuse. Thanks for smiling along. (Rare cool front here: 67 right now and breezy – not the island breezes, but we’ll take the resort-like feeling. Hope things are going well there.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • islandeditions / May 22 2015 2:27 pm

        Great, thanks! Although I am in Canada now, getting ready to take possession of a trailer that will become my summertime writing and reading sanctuary …


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 2:34 pm

          How perfect! Setting couldn’t be more inspiring. (and I’m thinking Lake Louise area for summer instead of winter…might take a bid of prodding to get there…never seen it without snow.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • islandeditions / May 22 2015 3:06 pm

            Not Alberta, but Ontario, and close to the shore of Lake Huron. Still lovely, though. In the summer … without snow.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 4:00 pm

            Sigh. Any lake is worth the trip…(ok, not the many local muddy ones)

            Liked by 1 person

  5. pegoleg / May 22 2015 2:45 pm

    I don’t know what is more astounding – alligators showing up all over the place, or how calm you southerners are about it. I would freak out!

    Having said that, I had a mini freak-out the other day when a friend showed me a picture he snapped from the side of a country highway of 2 bears frolicking in a corn field about an hour north of here. We’re in Illinois, for goodness sake!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2015 3:02 pm

      No longer zoned for bears there? Some farmer is probably annoyed at all the smashed corn stalks. Bear hide and seek probably isn’t neatly done.
      We live in a marshy swampy area. Pretty views, but comes with inhabitants. Gators are easier to see than the snakes. Seriously, gators are pretty shy. If the teenagers/boys-will-be-boys type don’t toss chicken at them…feed a gator some chicken and he/she will camp out in your yard all summer. It’s always a bit awkward with newcomers to the area. Not long ago a new homeowner was lobbying hard to put in a canoe ramp in the park so he could toss his boat in the lake and paddle off easier – the park bulkhead was built with a very big drop to the lake so nothing can get to the kids on the swings and playground equipment. During a meeting I mentioned that right now gators have no access to the neighborhood, but could easily walk up a ramp and lounge around the park or front yards. And another person remembered the one the previous summer that swam up to a neighboring area’s pool and stayed there for weeks. The state wildlife people will not remove them as they are endangered…and it was fed chicken.(you can pay someone to haul it off back to the gator zone – or if it’s small cops will do it) So far no ramp. Who wants to run over a large live speed bump in the dark?
      Wildlife. (Keep the dogs leashed!) Thanks for sloshing by with a comment ( and hey – go look for the bears? Keep the car doors firmly locked. It would be like looking for ET.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate Crimmins / May 22 2015 3:25 pm

    So funny! I am fascinated (and terrorized) by alligators. Yet you make them so humorous! Great story.


  7. Kourtney Heintz / May 22 2015 7:42 pm

    Wow, I can’t imagine finding one of those in my pool. Let alone two! I love the McDonald’s gator. Who doesn’t want french fries?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 1:16 pm

      I guess the gator heard they were letting horseback riders use the drive-thru lane and decided to give it a try. After all, he has that lovely smile and people love smiles. Happy meals for all! Thanks for marching over – enjoy your Memorial Day. Summer is here! (Paw waves!)


  8. heretherebespiders / May 22 2015 10:12 pm

    I’d like a ‘gator. For a little while. A baby one to coo over and bring me back to my mom who had them as (temporary) pets in S. Florida. I actually almost bought her a caiman so she could relive her youth.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 1:26 pm

      The little ones are so funny. Not supposed to keep them anymore, but the zoo often has a couple out for kids to pet – and learn about leaving the big ones alone. IF you grow up around them, I guess they just seem like funny ancient creatures more than threat…but I’m not tossing them chicken. No matter how much they beg. (Hey, how about a rat appetizer?) Thanks for swimming by to chat


  9. Ally Bean / May 22 2015 10:48 pm

    I’m a curmudgeon when it comes to alligators. But I’ll admit that those baby ones are cute. In a photo. On a blog. From another state. And as for that grab and dash gator at Mickey D’s… if I saw him walking toward the place that’d put me off McDonald’s forever. Please tell me that was photoshopped.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 1:30 pm

      No need to photoshop. Gators on the go and if you build around water or wetlands, they’re going to come looking for snacks. Luckily there’s a large wild park which is perfect for gator gatherings and many are relocated there…or just back to the nearby lake or bayou. Those gator guys can move pretty fast – I’ll be glad to keep my distance and let them sit wherever they want. Thanks for driving in with a comment


  10. dogear6 / May 23 2015 2:23 am

    The Jefferson Hotel here used to have alligators in the ponds because Richmond residents would bring them home from vacation, then needed to get rid of them when they got too big!

    My husband was golfing at Disney years ago and there was a gator on the course. Of course, he hit the ball a bit too close. He didn’t even think about it – he just walked away from the ball and took the penalty. The other golfers tried to tease him and he was no way – do you know how fast that suckers can run? Apparently that hadn’t occurred to the others guests. We were from Chicago and we knew better than to tangle with them!

    Have a good weekend!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 1:35 pm

      I’ve heard about ducks and ducklings in hotel pools and pond, but gators, too? How funny. They do tend to outgrow aquariums and who wants one lolling around your bathtub?
      Golf courses are great places for gators – soft groomed grass, lots of sun. Most people seem to play around them – but like you say, gators can move pretty fast if they feel like it. Not getting off the cart. Rolling on by that hole…
      Thanks for that link. Splashing your way shortly. Enjoy your Memorial Day!


  11. Littlesundog / May 23 2015 2:23 am

    Every once in a while a lone gator – usually a young one – is found in a farm pond or lake here in Oklahoma. I imagine they’re acquired as babies – either kidnapped from native waters or purchased as an exotic. They are discarded after they become too large to handle. I am not sure what the Dept of Wildlife Conservation does with them when they’re caught. Hopefully, they are returned to native waters elsewhere. I am not sure they could live through our winters here. Could they?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 3:25 pm

      Those little gators are so cute, but not good souvenirs.They get too possessive/territorial in bathtubs…probably shred the towels, too.
      It does get pretty cold there, but it’s not too far to relocate them across state lines….gators do seem to enjoy a nice ride in a pickup truck.
      Thanks for sloshing over (Hope the stormy weather is passing you by. 18 days of rain just this month here – but the tornado hit the other side of town. Whew.)


  12. Robin / May 23 2015 10:45 am

    Living with our snakes is enough for me. I don’t think I’d want gators in the mix (although maybe they would cut down our snake population?). That said, those little ones are cute to look at (from a distance?).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 3:32 pm

      Do gators consider snakes dental floss? The bunnies and squirrels along Pine Gully seem to come out to gather and eat earlier than in many places – maybe they are dining during gator dozing hours. Hope the stormy weather lets you outside a bit. Thanks for splashing down to chat.


  13. marthaschaefer / May 23 2015 1:58 pm

    Came home to a gray squirrel in my shower last night. Safer than a gator but equally surprising!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 3:40 pm

      Silly squirrel. Someone must have convinced him you had a squirrel spa there. Must have been an event getting him to leave…talk about wild ping-pong behavior. Appreciate your
      (Headed back your way shortly – thanks for the mention, I stopped by, but got interrupted before able to comment…if the rain stops, the dog has to run outside quickly…before it starts again. Really enjoyed that post)


  14. Aquileana / May 23 2015 10:41 pm

    Oh yes… Gone with the wond… Times have changed, haven’t they?….
    This sentence of your post really resonated with me:
    “The fence was no problem… Everyone into the pool! (Dare ya’ to post some skinny dipping pictures on Facebook.)”…
    I’d give anything to have alligators at my pool… Where can I got those ones?…. The Everglades, I guess, right?…
    A great post, special for my weeekend. Memories, sigh! All the best to you!, Aquileana 😀


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 3:45 pm

      Baby alligators are cute…trying to convince you they are fierce. Not sure they allow them to be sold anymore – they ended up in the oddest spots. Maybe in Florida? Along the TX gulf coast, and inland wetlands/waterways, they just wander at will. Annoying people on golf courses and roads. Shortly the dating season will be over and it’ll be hot enough they will head for shade and cool waters. Meanwhile, leash the pets and watch where you step…or drive. (WIll amble your way shortly to see what’s happening there.) Thanks for diving in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jay E. / May 25 2015 3:40 pm

    I live in the northern reaches of Alligator Country. Every couple of years we get something like this:


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 4:07 pm

      Oh, that’s a great link. Gator make the worst speed bumps. (They refuse to stay in one place….maybe their union demands more chicken! And school crossing guards get cross about them.) Thanks for sloshing by to chat. Happy Memorial Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. aFrankAngle / May 26 2015 1:10 pm

    Oh you are so nice … just use your feminine powers to get an a clueless male teen to fall into a pool of gators. Very nice. 😉


  17. roughseasinthemed / May 26 2015 9:39 pm

    Such a cutie. I can never resist looking at gator pix. Probably because we don’t have any.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 27 2015 12:56 am

      The little ones are very cute and easily managed. Tourists used to be able to buy them some places like Florida and take them home…but then gators have a habit of growing and taking over the bathtub without permission. Snowy would bark at one constantly. Gators hiss. Molly says cats are easier to annoy. Thanks for a snappy comment


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