Shooting an Alligator

Life brought us to South Carolina; the collapsed real estate market enabled us to buy 16 acres of rural lowlands for pennies on the dollar; and Centex Corporation's plan to build 64 houses became ours to build one house next to a man-made pond.  The land has a wild feeling and we had been warned about the fire ants, insects, and snakes.  But nobody told us about the alligators. Deborah had once seen something skimming slowly under the pond's surface and had thought, that's a long, funny fish.  One evening at sunset, when the nightly din of insects and birds was beginning, Deborah was sitting at the edge of the pond, her toes in the water, when the long, funny fish emerged like a primordial nightmare.  The jaw, the scales, the pointed tail, the dead remorseless eyes locking onto hers -- it was an alligator.  And no more than three feet away. Deborah started stammering incoherently like a comic character, "It's an ahhhhh, ahhhhh, ahhhh."  She had the...(Read Full Article)