Old Joe The Alligator And The Missed Breakfast

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Digby Pancake agrees with that. However, he also agrees with persons who say that lunch is the most important meal of the day. And yes. He agrees with persons who think dinner is the deal.

So when Girl Person decided yesterday that she would rather go hiking at a state park more than moving our whole house, we decided to put that off for another day. Even though she said our breakfast may be a little late. And we headed to a place called Wakulla Springs State Park in this Florida place.

It didn’t take us very long to get there. But Digby and I were very excited as soon as we got there.

It was a new place.

The weather was freezing for this Florida place, and we had our crazy, breezy attitudes with us.

I wish we would have brought our breakfast with us too.

Because as we hiked, I could tell there was so much to see here. A pretty lodge.

There were boats with glass bottoms that people could ride to see manatees.

And there was an alligator named Old Joe. Old. Joe. Big Old Joe.

Dogs couldn’t go inside the lodge. But that was ok. Because thinking of Old Joe in there kinda made me sad.

Girl Person told us that Old Joe was so big. He was 11 feet long. Some said he was 300 years old! But he never harmed anyone.

Then one day, someone decided they should harm him. For no reason. No reason at all. And it was never found out who did it.

Old Joe’s life was taken away when he was just living. Just existing. And it made me think…who is more dangerous? Persons or animals?

Of course, animals like Old Joe should be respected by giving them their space. Letting them be.

And we have to be cautious because the earth doesn’t operate like it should and makes things out of order. But we should never forget that an alligator inside of a glass case once was happy. We should never forget he isn’t an attraction. He is now a lesson for us. The lesson that danger is in ignorance. And danger is in persons who think they have a right to harm others just because they can.

As we were thinking about Old Joe and admiring the springs and scenery of this Florida place, we realized that we had in fact missed breakfast. And we still had to drive home. The car couldn’t get there fast enough. In fact, we were so slow we missed lunch too. Yet, Digby knows that a foxhound stare can make a late lunch turn into an omelet. If you stare. And howl. And make your point known.

And Girl Person said she wouldn’t let us down. In memory of Old Joe who needed a lot of omelette to stroll thru the water and be the best alligator he could be, we had our eggies at 2 pm. And our dinner at 4 pm. Because we could. Because we wanted to. Learning about Old Joe was worth the wait for breakfast.

If you’re afraid of missing a meal, well, you should be. But don’t let fear keep you from seeing the beauty in all living things. Have you ever thought…they care for you too?

Today, we are headed for some more beach therapy. Stay tuned!

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Sop It Up In Sopchoppy

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Some places you may not picture yourself in. No. It’s not that they are bad places. But maybe you have never heard of them. Maybe you think there would be no reason to go there. But maybe you are wrong. I was. I never pictured myself in a place called Sopchoppy, Florida. But here I am.

We couldn’t find a campsite not booked in this Florida place because so many snowbirds are here. I don’t know why birds need to camp. But who am I to argue with a bird? Is anyone to argue with a bird?

So we decided to drive a little ways and try a place called Sopchoppy. We heard there was a river and a chance we might find a spot to fit the Big Blue Treat Wagon.

And we did! We found a spot right by the river. Here in Sopchoppy, Florida.

We know that no matter how short of a time you have in a place, you should always try to learn a little about it. It’s respectful and it’s good to learn. It helps you to understand others more.

And that helps you understand the world more and how you can make it better.

It helps to immerse yourself in a place. You know. Really soak it in. And if you are in Sopchoppy? Sop it up. Like dunking a big ol biscuit in gravy.

You have a river in Sopchoppy. You would think it would be choppy. But it’s pretty smooth. Sop up all that peacefulness. So smooth.

You have nice camping spots. Right on the not choppy river in Sopchoppy. Sop up that space.

You also have trails and parks and nature. Sop. It. All. Up.

Now. No place has it all. Especially if you only include less than two square miles. So it doesn’t have a lot of entertainment of the fancy sort. You can’t sop that up.

And it doesn’t have a safe place for worms. You heard me. Worms. Don’t travel to Sopchoppy if you want to be a safe worm.

If anyone has ever heard of the Worm Gruntin Festival, I would assume you came to sop up the fun. But it’s definitely not fun if you’re a worm.

Now. I’m all for a good time. That’s my middle name on days I don’t eat pancakes. So it’s never my middle name, but a figure of speech. Or bark.

But I do have to wonder. How many really appreciate the worm? Sopchoppy? I ask you to ponder that question.

When you end up in a place called Sopchoppy, you may not expect to learn about worms.

But then it happens and you wonder how many more places have something to teach you. You wonder how many animals have something to teach you. And I respect them. I respect you, worms.

Life is more than our own backyard. Life is more than what we see. It takes many roles to make our world go round. Animals with feelings, and plants that grow, and persons that are supposed to take care of them and respect them. Beneath your feet are individuals like earthworms who play a part in your life without asking for thanks. The least we can do is acknowledge they are important. Did I just call worms individuals? I did. Just because they live beneath our paws doesn’t mean they mean less than any other being.

Sop up all you can in life by learning how you are able to live. Who makes that possible…like the worms. It takes many to make our world as wonderful as it is. And it takes many places like Sopchoppy to teach us.

Deputy Digby Good-time Pancake

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