...Beloved Alligator Bayou has been recently drained by the removal of a floodgate, at the insistence of mitigation bankers....who seem unconcerned about the displacement and deaths of the animals, the corruption and threat to the plants and trees.... I am writing a research paper about it. In the meantime, here are some thoughts from some representative voices...
The Gator: I don’t know why we need experts to tell us that extreme alterations cause nature pain. What if a large hand reached down and removed your house? Would you be able to live on the land not custom built for your use? What was it like during the two weeks following Hurricane Gustav, when a major player of your summer environment, the air conditioner, was suddenly removed? Or think about how it felt to drive around without stoplights, worried that you wouldn’t find gas or food before the curfew? It is wrong to do this to a population of animals and trees. And I’m sorry, fellow animals, but especially the trees. They are really, really, old, like 2000 years. They’re like our grandparents, especially the old cypress trees. I think my grandmother was actually married to one, though I'm not completely sure...
The Bird: I don't think 50 is old if you are a tree. Why not ask the Americans to relocate? I mean don't they have a need to stimulate themselves? And isn't it easier to move a street sign then a big puddle full of alligators or feasting crows? These are questions not really answers that have questions. I think it should be illegal for ill-informed people to make a profit off of nature. Should farmers really get paid for "growing" cows and things like that, I don't think the cows get any "real" money. Also from my point of view lastly I believe that banks should not be able to migrate. They could get confused with aliens and we'd end up killing the wrong people. It'd be truly sorry! I could be thinking, but that might be wrong, it's just my opinion, what's yours?
The Gators: They even look like our grandparents. When you're out there on the bank with them you feel like they're listening to you, waiting to tell them about your life so they can forget again and you can tell them again later. But they know your soul. At least it feels like they do. It feels mysterious on the bank near the oldest tree, and peaceful too. I'm worried that mystery and that peace is going to be gone. Yes, the tree looks dead already but Jim Ragland and Frank Bonifay say it's still living, and that it's one of the oldest trees in the world.
Woman who lives at the end of the road:
I told my husband to load his shotgun for the first time in nine years. I told my children alligators are not lizards. Do you know
alligators kill more babies than sharks? I won't let my little Daniel
outside since the opening of the floodgates. Did you know alligators
cause more AIDS than dolphins? We can't have alligators on our
playgrounds, in our pools, or at our barbecues unless we're grilling
one. Did you know alligators ruin the top layer of soil? Look it up.
Put that in your paper. Explain that issue.