July 17, 2010

Uninvited Guest

Sitting at my computer, enJOYing a cup of morning coffee, I hear an odd sounding shuffling across the room, so I figured my dog, Tidbit, was settling in for a mornin' nap, doing a bit of preening or something beforehand. The noise was surely odd, though not alarming, so I didn't bother to glance her way.

A few moments later, I hear my housemate, Scott, say from the other room, "Where the hell did that alligator come from?" I think, Yeah, right, now what's he tryin' to fool me into believing? I admit I'm quite gullible and fall for many things. But the more I thought about it his voice was loud and matter of fact so I decided to go into the livingroom to see what was up.

I was in shock to see a 3-foot alligator waddling across the room, right into Scott's bedroom! Thankfully Scott had grabbed Tidbit, who'd been napping at his feet, and had her choker pulled tight, so while I put her out in the back yard, Scott closed his bedroom door, trapping the critter.

I called Ohio Wildlife, who contacted a fellow who called me back to make arrangements to rid us of our unwanted guest. Yes, gator wrangler, Chris Law, of the Ohio Reptile Service, rescued us from the jaws of our uninvited guest.

We're in the habit of leaving the back door open on occasion, so the dog can get out into the yard, sort of a doggie door. No more! This gator had waltzed in the back door, through the kitchen and dining room, and right past me at the computer, on into the livingroom!

Chris found the gator curled up in a big box in Scott's closet, settled in quite comfortably. Chris bare-handedly grabbed it's jaws, taping them shut, and stood in the livingroom chatting with us like it was an everyday occurrence. Not!

Chris assured us this alligator would soon be on its way to a reptile sanctuary in Florida and would grow up to be a big gator one day. Chris also said this is the first in-the-house rescue he's ever been called to do.

We took a few photos, but unfortunately Scott's new camera did a horrible job (or the photographers did) ... Anyway, I think you can get an idea of the size of our uninvited guest as we head him out the door with a See ya later, alligator!

Submitted January 2011:

July 4, 2010

Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July USA!

I Stand Alone
©Ruth Cox
I see myself standing in the shadows of the Ohio Buckeye and family tree.

On this night, the eve of the anniversary of my country's, "Declaration of Independence," I stood alone.

Under the cover of the thundering red, white and blue display, I contemplated what the bell of freedom rang to my forefathers. I contemplated the peal of peace heard by those who cried the "Trail of Tears." I contemplated how the toll of liberty echoed through plantation fields, reverberant in the pleas of the immigrants who sought harbour under "Lady Liberty."

As the grand finale unveils its true color over the valley below, I am jolted back to reality by a drunken throng shouting "God bless America!" and "Let freedom ring!"

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? With utter contempt, I reflect upon the woeful plight of those who are not free, those bound by obligatory restraints imposed upon them by the powers that be. I reflect upon the wretched condition of citizens in my community shackled by the drive to survive.

On this night, the eve of the anniversary of my country's, "Declaration of Independence," I stand alone.

I am standing in the shadows of the Ohio Buckeye and family tree.