I was 13 years old when my father and I went to Florida for a few days to visit a friend of his named Eddie Paul.
This was something that we did a few times during the summers and mostly, it was just to go fishing and hunting. Although, I didn't really get into the hunting part, back then, I was more into fishing. (Hate it now)
Moving on, Eddie Paul was more a friend of my grand-father. He owned a huge amount of land. His house sat in the middle of it. To the south, he had an orange grove. To the North, he had a field where he used to let the Klan hold their meetings. (Yeah, that Klan.) And to the East, wooded terrain for hunting and a 40 - 50 yard diamater pond. (Fairly big) The West was also wooded but his driveway came through that section and it ran from the road to the house about a mile. (Middle of nowhere)
This one particular trip was special to me. You see, it started the first day after arriving the following evening. Dad and I went out to the pond to fish. It was going on high noon. He took a spot just several feet from a fallen tree, It was struck by lightning (or so Eddie said) and the trunk section (or lower section) was on the ground. The upper part of the tree, the branches and such, were in the water. I took to the other side. In doing so, Eddie called out (he went with us) "Be careful for the gator. He'll come up onto land and grab you and pull you into the pond and eat you for lunch."
I looked at my dad. The two of them smiled. "He's just kidding around." I nodded. And resumed my walk around to the other side.
Shortly there-after, maybe an hour or so, I saw Eddie walk away, heading back to the house. About thirty minutes later, my father started shouting. "I got one - I got one!"
I watched as began to reel it in but could see that his line was heading right for the fallen tree. "Dagnabit!" My father shouted. I smiled. I thought it was funny. "Get your line caught in the branches?" I shouted out to him.
He waved me to come to him. I reeled in my line and walked back around. He was cussing a fit. "I just bought that lure and everything. It was expensive." Blah blah blah. I just shrugged my shoulders. "Tough break."
My father looks at me. "Before I cut the line, will you go in and see if you can un-snag it?"
"Me? Heck no. There is a gator in there."
My dad laughed. "He was just kidding, son. There is no gator in the pond. They go swimming in it all the time. He was just messing with you."
"Are you sure, pops?" I asked him.
He looked at me seriously. "Do you think I would send you in there if I thought for a moment that there was a gator in it?"
Okay, he made a pretty good point.
So I started taking off my clothes, down to my tighty-whitey's. I walked into the pond, along side of the fallen tree. I grabbed the line and began to work it, wiggle it, trying to un-sang it. For thirty minutes, I tried. No luck.
"Go below surface and follow the line, see if you can reach it like that." He suggested. So I did. I took a few dives and for thirty minutes more of trying - no luck. Finally, my last attempt of the day, and I got it! I came out of the water feeling all proud. I took my underwear off and rang them out before putting them back on and then my clothes. We walked back to the house and everything was forgotten. "You see," My father said. "I told you there was no gator in there."
The next morning, (Or afternoon. I slept in. I was on vacation.) I woke up and stepped outside. I could see in the far distance about seven guys gathered at the pond. I figured they were fishing. When suddenly! Bang! Bang! Bang! - three shots rang out. I was like, "WTF?"
I raced to them in a flash. I stopped when I came up on the group. I stared in complete disbelief and shock. I looked hard at my father. He looked back at me. He shrugged his shoulders. "Sorry."
Sorry? .... Sorry! .... Really? That's all he had to say?
I looked back at the 13 foot crocodile they had just pulled out of th epond and killed. I shook my head. This is when I realized how close I had come to being crocadile shit. LOL
Never again have I ever trusted my dad. Even though he swears that he and Eddie had no idea that thing was in there.
Right. LOL Another brush with death. LOL