Today, I was on my way home, literally slowing to turn in my driveway, when a baby alligator crossed the road in front of my car. Another car stopped to look at the gator, and the man cheerfully called from his convertible, “Gator Crossing! How about that!” I didn’t exactly share his enthusiasm because after all, the gator was crossing the street right in front of my house. Since moving to this house last summer, I have seen four snakes and one baby alligator ‘crossing’ the road. Let’s not forget their brethren behind my house. There are nine-foot gators, snakes that can make a grown man scream like a girl, and all sorts of animal kingdom members out there. (Last night, again, I awoke to the the howling of some poor soul being killed out there. It’s the cycle of life and the Discovery Channel right outside my door.) Maybe you understand why I don’t let my kids play outside…ever.
My charming friend, Michaelene McElroy, perhaps you’ve heard of her literary fiction, The Last Supper Catering Company, a must read you can purchase at Amazon and beyond, mentioned something about how I couldn’t just live somewhere where chickens cross the road, and I had to agree…Where are the chickens when you need them? Did the alligators eat them?
The whole chicken crossing the road thing got me thinking about the animals that do cross my road. Obviously, we should change the question… Why did the alligator cross the road? Why did the six-foot snake cross the road? Suddenly, it hit me. Why DID that gator cross the road? To get to the other side, like that chicken?? NO. The gators, the snakes, the panthers, the bobcats, the scorpions, the bears, and all of the other island critters cross that road because that road is not supposed to be there. This is their island. They were here first…likely before the Calusa Indians Ponce de Leon fought when he ‘discovered’ Sanibel Island. I might be the only one on this rock who seems to understand we are invading their space. Maybe that’s why I look out into the wild around me from the safety of my scorpion-filled walls. Maybe it’s just because there is generally a gator outside of my window. (Even if the babies are kind of cute…I admit…I got out of my car and crept as close as I dared to take a photo of the baby gator.) I may never be able to figure out the riddle of why the chicken crossed the road, but I can tell you this…The baby gators, mama gators, snakes, and Lord knows what else, are crossing the road in front of my home because…that road isn’t supposed to be there! 😉