Young’un Screaming Bloody Mercy

Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley:

American Alligator basking on a burned cypress log on Minnie’s Lake; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 12, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com

“Old man Lee was laying on the end of the porch sunning, same as the gator. He heard the young’un screaming bloody mercy as the gator was get’en her and draggin’ her to where he could get into the water with ‘er. The old man who was laying right there on the porch grabbed his gun from behind the door, ran out to the edge of the water and shot the gator before he got too far out in the swamp with the girl. When the old man shot, the gator turned the young’un loose of course and the old man grabbed his bateau, paddled out and got the young’un out of the water as quick as he could.”


In my search for anything Okefenokee, I came across a used copy of The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp by Tommy Hartley (LAH Publishing Company, 2003). Hartley writes in the inside cover, “Both of my parents were raised as swampers in the late 1800’s… We were swampers and spoke swamper and now I enjoy speaking and writing swamper.” Hartley passes down entertaining swamp stories that were told to him by his mother. It appears the book may be out of print, but I recommend it for reading, especially if you enjoy southern culture and history.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55823707

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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