The ‘gator had the boy by the head

American Alligator on Billy’s Lake in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©

An old Okefenokee Swamper story as told by Owen Smith in the journals of naturalist Francis Harper, 1929:

“Henry Bennett went down there to go in swimming – him and his brother. They climb up on this stump to jump off in there. And one of ’em jumped off ahead of the other. And he waited for him to rise before he jumped in. He wouldn’t jump in because his brother wouldn’t rise. And directly he seed his brother’s foot come up. He jumped in then an’ gathered his brother by the foot. He knew there was something the matter with him. And he drug him, ’gator and all, out to dry land. The ’gator had the boy by the head, but turned him loose when they got out to the land. Then they went to the house and got a gun an’ shot him. And I see the boy many a time with the scars on both sides of his head. An’ there weren’t no hair on the scars. They showed all right, back on his head.”

iNaturalist observation:


    1. Alligator attacks are few and far between. This narrative was a “yarn” from and old Swamper. It is sometimes hard to determine where truth and entertainment diverged in the old timer’s tales! But it makes for a great story. Thanks for commenting! William

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s