August 31, 2009

When A Brave Alligator Is Not Enough

My husband called me into the bedroom excitedly this morning. Not that kind of excitement - I was in the middle of getting the kids ready for school. No, he wanted me to see something on TV.

"Look at this," he said, waving his sock at the television. I looked. A few animals seemed to be gathered around a lake.

"So what is it?" I asked impatiently. The toddler was running around with a vegemite sandwich and no leash, so I knew time was of the essence.

"It's amazing," he said. "An alligator is wrestling a wildebeest away from a lion. They caught it on film."

"Wow!" I enthused, impressed. "Did the alligator save the wildebeest from the lion? That's unbelievable!" My husband looked at me pityingly.

"Yes, Kerri," he said sarcastically. "The alligator rescued the wildebeest and brought it back to his home. Then they all stood around singing 'Circle of Life'."

I looked blank.

"He was just fighting with the lion for food," my husband said. "He was a brave alligator."

I felt a little silly. So the alligator hadn't been freakishly altruistic beyond his reptilian capabilities, he had just been really brave. But then... big deal. What's so amazing about a really brave alligator? Maybe he wasn't even really brave. Maybe he was just really, really hungry. Or maybe alligators take on lions all the time, but it's never filmed, because, well, people would have to be pretty stupid to get near an alligator fighting with a lion?

But then I got to thinking. Maybe I'm just way too harsh. Maybe my expectations are too high.

After all, the world has gone slightly mad. Every day there are wilder stories, every day our imaginations are stretched further. Every day we need bigger and bigger news, and more and more outrageous stories to give us the buzz we're looking for.

It's not enough that Michael Jackson died. He had to be killed by a bizarro doctor who was using weirdo techniques to put him to sleep every night. It's not enough that a girl was kidnapped. She had to have been held captive by a psycho child killer for 18 years, bearing him two children and running his printing business. It's not enough that we have Vegemite. We have to have new Vegemite, with something unlikely added, and the extra bonus of a competition to choose its name.

Maybe it's time we all slowed down. Maybe it's time we appreciated the basics, and looked back to nature for our wonder and delight.

Maybe it's time to take a moment to honour the Brave Alligator.

And the Wildebeest, who gave his life, so that we could dream once more.


  1. Great post. Eloquently written and making a very valid point.

    But could you write it again - perhaps add some animated graphics and a plot development where it turns out someone (maybe your husband) had been abducted by an alien race at birth and replaced by a CGI version of himself? That would make for much better reading... ;-)

    And no, I'm not sure what my point is here. Or ever.

  2. It was actually a crododile, on work experience...........fender4eva

  3. "Circle of Life" - PMSL

    Could you please tell your husband that I love him? (not THAT kind of love).

  4. I'm ashamed to admit that I LOVE the new vegemite!

  5. It's a cross, between an alligator, and a crocodile ! Another atrocious fender typo..........

  6. That was simply a wonderful post.

    Brave deluded alligator - you are my inspiration (and possibly someone else's handbag)

  7. Aww, Kerri, I love to see you embracing your inner Aesop like this.

    That blessedly brave Alligator and the martyr-like Wildebeest! *wipes eyes*

    Group hug, anyone?

  8. Hear, hear!
    Slow down? Yes, please!!

  9. Lovely post Kerri! Especially insightful (and relevant to your 'slow down' theme) I think is the line "Or maybe alligators take on lions all the time, but it's never filmed." I bet if we all slowed down and sat still and watched for a while we would see amazing things! Awwwwwwwwwww! Isn't that sweet?! I'm getting all deep on my own at home for, like, the 18th night in a row.

    And have you checked out the whole YouTube video?! It is amazing, & better still has a happy ending! I don't want to ruin it, but it's hard to keep watching if you don't know this important fact!

  10. Eco-Chic Mummy,
    Will do, and thanks for the wonderful comment!
    Stay deep. You're not alone. The whole of the internet is with you.....

  11. it seems that you have found your sixth toe after all!

  12. Hear, hear!
    Slow down? Yes, please!!


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