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14 April 2014

Sport


About midnight, having fallen asleep,
I was awakened and greatly surprised

at finding most of my companions
up in arms, and furiously engaged

with a large alligator
but a few yards from me.

One of our company, it seems,
awoke in the night, and perceived

the monster within a few paces of the camp,
who giving the alarm to the rest,

they readily came to his assistance,
for it was a rare piece of sport;

some took fire-brands and cast them
at his head, whilst others formed javelins

of saplins, pointed and hardened with fire;
these they thrust down his throat

into his bowels, which caused the monster
to roar and bellow hideously, but his strength

and fury was so great that he easily wrenched
or twisted them out of their hands, which

he wielded and brandished about and kept
his enemies at distance for a time;

some were for putting an end to his life
and sufferings with a rifle ball, but

the majority thought this would too soon
deprive them of the diversion and pleasure

of exercising their various inventions
of torture; they at length however grew tired,

and agreed in one opinion, that he had suffered
sufficiently, and put an end to his existence.




Taken from Travels of William Bartram by William Bartram, published 1928. Submitted by Dawn Corrigan.

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