Alligator Appetite for Hound Dogs

​Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley.
American Alligator on Minnie’s Lake; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 12, 2015. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at
“​They say the Lee’s never carry dogs in the swamp anymore without caring a long, keen, Cypress sapling with a knife blade fastened to one end. Mr. Lee says one stick with that knife and them gators lose their appetite for hound dogs fer a mighty long time. Old man Lee can stick a gator in the side with that bayonet and he’ll walk on the water with his tail for the longest. I just hope I never get close enough to an alligator to stick him in the side with a knife. He can have all the hound dogs in this swamp for all I care.”

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.

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