Tuesday, September 20, 2011

harvey the croc

I suppose there is someone somewhere who does not like Jimmie Stewart.

If so, I never met him.

As good as he was in his movies, Stewart was an amazing presence on stage.  As if your neighbor had stopped by with insights from Chekhov.

The kind of actor you could invite to dinner at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand after a performance, and not feel like a fool for doing so.

At least, you could in 1975.  It was the last time I saw him on stage.  At the Prince of Wales in London.  In Harvey, of course.  Along with his pooka friend -- imaginary or not.

I thought of him -- and Harvey -- this morning during one of my backyard nature outings.  Before I drove to Manzanillo for the day, I wanted to see if I could spot any of the crocodiles now that the laguna is filling up, and our little inlet is coming back to life.  My landlady told me she had seen the small crocodile sunning on the bank last week.

So, I walked out my gate and across the andador (the walkway beside the laguna).  Nothing.  Well, a couple of birds, but no crocodiles.  But something seemed odd.  I could hear no chickens.  No dogs.  No birds.

Disappointed, I turned to head back through the gate.  And then I saw it.  First, just a quick movement out of the corner of my eye.  Enough to stop me in place.

The small crocodile was not in the laguna.  It was on the andador.  No more than 50 feet from me.

My movement had obviously startled it while it was eating -- something.  Something dark that already smelled of death.  Whatever it was snacking on, it was not going to share.

It grabbed its meal, literally flipped around, and dashed down the bank.  All of that took no more than 3 seconds.  If that.

Imagine the speed of an iguana.  Now, imagine the iguana is six feet long.

It was a rush.  Almost as good as skydiving.  And, yes, I know.  It was potentially dangerous.  But that was why it was a rush.  No one gets an adrenalin rush out of OSHA-approved pursuits.  And I am not going to see a sight like that in San Miguel.

While I was opening the gate (back at the start of this tale), I almost went back inside to get my camera.  But, I didn’t.  After all, I have all sorts of photographs of the inlet -- with and without crocodiles.

And if I had taken my camera, everything happened so fast that I would not have got my camera up before the crocodile was gone.

Instead, you get the Harvey version of my crocodile on the anador.  Can’t you see him right there?

Jimmy Stewart would have appreciated it.


Mcotton said...

I am glad the crocodile had something he was interested in eating, otherwise you may have been his next meal.

Steve Cotton said...

Of course, he wouldn't have been up there if he had not been tempted by something dead.  That walkway is far too exposed for a crocodile.

Norm Kwallek said...

Saw a news idem about a salty they killed in Asia that weighted over 2000 lbs. I've read accounts from the 1500s where they killed sea going crocs on the high seas that were over 50 feet long. A 100 foot long ship, a 50 foot long croc, I would have blasted the thing to...  

Felipe Zapata said...

I think it's becoming pretty clear how your Mexican adventure is going to climax. Your fixation on this beasts will in time be your undoing. This is a clear example of someone not knowing how to leave something alone.

me said...

You sound a bit cranky and dark here. Perhaps you need to restart your blog. I do miss it.

blog said...

The iguanas in Puerto are pretty relaxed (even though they are poached and served on tortillas). I suppose they can be fast if the need be - there they just sun themselves and watch.

We have no crocs down there - but if we did I would not mess with them.

Steve Cotton said...

Felipe has a blog. The Unseen Moon. http://unseenmoon.wordpress.com/

Steve Cotton said...

I just realized my avatar is the same croc.  Must be my totem.

Steve Cotton said...

I could become a character in The Unseen Moon.  But don't worry about me becoming croc bait.  I have far too much respect for what they can do.

Steve Cotton said...

The few iguana that are still around the laguna are real fast.  I suppose that is why they are still alive and not the main ingredient in iguana soup.  But I am surprised you do not have crocs down your way.  It would seem to be a perfect spot for them.

Richard said...

.... if I recall Norm, they didn't kill that big croc... it's going into some sort of nature preserve in the Philippines. Last time I saw the video, it was all tied up on a cart and very much alive... albeit likely none to happy. Sadly they suspect the critter had eaten several 2 legged lunches.. it'll likely be eating chickens from now on.   

Irene said...

Harvey provided me with one of my all-time favorite excuses, "The pooka did it."

Steve Cotton said...

Mine was my evil twin Leven -- who lived in the clothes hamper.  It is a wonder that someone did not pack me up as a child and start drug treatments for schizophrenia.