Be Careful What You Wish For

Or, in this case, what you whistle for.

Our family has a “family whistle.” It came, like a dowry, from The Mister’s family.  We used it to round up our children, and they, subsequently, to round up theirs.  Our great-grandchildren are too young to whistle but they know what it means.

It means, simply, to come home.  Those few shrill notes make it clear that you….whichever family member you might be…. better get home right now!

Just the other night, as the Mister and I sat on our second story porch, overlooking the lagoon with its teeming wildlife, we discovered that children aren’t the only creatures who respond to whistles.

Bubba, the big alligator, was having a bit of a swim, lazily swinging his tail, in no apparent hurry.  Until The Mister whistled the family whistle.

To our surprise….nay, shock…. Bubba perked up and swam, quickly, purposefully, in our direction.  Was it an aberration?

No.  It wasn’t.  That much has been made clear over the last few evenings.  Bubba is responding.  He stops in his tracks to determine where the sound’s coming from.  Will change directions if he needs to.  He swims up to the shore…..never nearer….and we have a few moments of mutual appreciation.  Then he goes merrily on his way. 

I think we’ll back out of this relationship, however.   We know all too well that alligators are not toys. Or pets. They can and will respond to noise and can and will turn feral in a heartbeat.

We enjoyed our brief and up-close lesson in alligator behavior.  We will, however, be more mindful of who or what we whistle for in the coming days.

Photo: Bubba on the bank (unprompted by whistle)