The Gator’s Attack
The female alligator kept Mami and Kristen stuck on the other side!
“Papi,” I whined. “Can I drink water? Can we eat?”
“When we get to the three-mile trail marker,” came the reply.
My sister and I groaned. We knew that three miles was not a lot. We could easily do 3.5 miles without complaining in one hour. In fact, most days we did that much in the evenings, when we had time and the sweltering heat of Florida had somewhat diminished. But this was not a normal day or walk. This was a sizzling Sunday 7.5 mile hike in the summer. I repeat, SUMMER!
The beginning of the walk always went smoothly. The terrain was rough and soggy, the trees bristled and swayed while giving us a cool shade. We would jump and skip over the bumps and roots, occasionally stopping to stick a finger into the satisfying clay under the bulging roots. Yet, after a while, we got bored and sweaty, and we wanted to stop.
2.0, 2.5, I counted the trail markers as we passed them. 2.7, 2.8, and FINALLY!!! 3.0!!! We sat down wearily as Mami prepared sandwiches.
Some 20 minutes later, the newly refreshed family trudged through the trail, once again, unaware of the two major scares we would give ourselves.
I was skipping in my worn out, navy blue Crocs, my Florida Hospital draw-string bag slapping my back painlessly as my feet thumped the trail with every step.
Skip, thump, slap, skip, thump, slap.
Then I saw it. I had no time to stop myself. I was going to step about one inch from it. I was going to fall one inch from a snake!
It was too late. I was in midair. My brain had already sent signals to my body to move. One, two, three, four screams were heard, one of which was mine. The second I hit the ground, I jumped back up and into safety.
Much to our traumatization, we discovered what the snake thing was. It was a pygmy rattlesnake! Although it was small, it was deadly enough.
Amber and I whimpered and shivered at what had just happened for a good half-hour, but why whimper about what had just happened if we just knew what would happen next?
An hour later, a couple that was hiking stopped us. “Hey,” said the man. “Some 200 yd. away from Boardwalk 9, there is a ‘gator that charged at us. Pretty big fellow. Just be careful.”
After thanking the couple, Papi ushered us on, in spite of the fears of my sister and me.
“Nothing will happen,” my dad said, eager to see the monster.
We passed the boardwalks, dreading Boardwalk 9. We counted the boardwalks and calculated how many we had left to reach it. Not many, that was for sure. To our dismay, we reached Boardwalk 9.
“How far is it?” we would ask, feeling apprehensive about the possible death.
We finally reached the site. It had to be a female by the way she was acting. The thing looked like the Mistress of Gator-Neverland. My sister and Papi scampered to the other side. The mother growled and hissed at them. Mami and I tried going, but fear got the better of us when the gator hissed and snapped angrily.
“Ay, Kristensita,” Mami said as I clung to her. “I don’t know what we are going to do. This is a tight situation.”
Meanwhile, intrigued by the beast, Papi took out his phone to take pictures and videos.
Upset by his lingering, the gator moved a little closer, and snapped.
“Pero venganse que no hace nada,” Papi coaxed. “Come, it does not do anything!”
“No, mi amorcito, ella quiere atacar. Alguien la enojó y quiere atacar,” Mami shoved away the idea. “No, honey, she wants to attack. Somebody angered her, and she wants to attack.”
Mami and I tried multiple things, and we were too scared to try. Not the brush! There were ticks and snakes and spiders. Not the trail! It was too close to the beast. About to give up, Mami came up with an idea. She had remembered that we had passed by another family. We would wait until the family came, and we would cross with them.
Meanwhile, Papi’s attempts to distract the beast proved fruitless. He only angered her further. I won’t mention the things he did, I’m just telling you, they don’t work, especially on female gators, and they didn’t work this time either.
Finally, the family came, and we crossed with them. As we were recovering from the scare, a jogger and her husband passed by.
“You know,” Papi warned. “There is a huge female alligator that charged at us, not far from here.”
“Oh, OK,” she smiled. “We’ll watch out.”
Not long after that, the same couple came jogging back. “We saw her,” the lady panted and laughed. “She was on the trail, blocking our way!”
We were thankful that God had protected us. In the Bible, God promised us in 2 Thessalonians 3:3. It says:
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
SO this actually happened to us. I’m thankful that God is always there because this day could’ve ended differently.
Just a funny addition.
So while my dad was trying to make my mom and I pass to the other side, he was accidently recording it.
We laughed so hard that night!
We still tease him to this day.