- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
295

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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contented with shooting alligators right and left, but
who even shot the lovely water-fowl, which, however,
he could not make any use of, and it was
distressing to me to see them fall down wounded,
here and there, among the weeds. I took the liberty
of speaking my mind to him about this needless
shooting. He smiled, agreed with what I
said, and continued to shoot. I wished him in
petto
bad digestion!

As regards the alligators, I could not have very
much compassion on them. They are so hideous
to behold, and are so terrible; for, though they
do not attack grown people unless in self-defense,
still they carry off the little negro children without
ceremony. They swim with the upper part
of the body above the water, so that it is not
difficult to hit them with a bullet in the body and
forelegs. On this they dive down, or, if severely
wounded, turn on one side; they are often seen
like masses of living mud, rolling themselves on
the shore to hide themselves among the water-reeds
that grow there. Their number and their
fearlessness here are amazing. It is said that
even two years ago they were so numerous that it
was difficult for boats to get along. They make
a sort of grunting or bellowing sound, and it is
said that early in the spring, at mating-time, they
make a horrible noise.

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