- Editor's Note -

It’s those tasks that would seem so simple
that never are

By Amanda Huber

I know a family who has lived by a creek for many years. Actually, this same creek is where my granddaddy, who is now 97, was baptized, where my parents learned to swim, I learned to swim and my children are learning to swim. Only rarely have alligators tried to take up residence along this small portion of the creek, and it’s probably because other areas of the creek are uninhabited by humans or there are many, many other creeks, ponds, sloughs, swamps, etc., in which to live.

The very few times, and I’m really only talking about, perhaps, three times, an alligator tried to take up residence, it was strongly encouraged to move on or somehow dealt with. No, it isn’t entirely fair to the alligator, a remnant of the dinosaur era, but we are talking about the safety of children, after all.

One such time happened just a couple of years ago, a five-foot alligator decided he wanted to homestead. After several attempts to scare him away (they really would rather not be around humans), it was decided this upstart reptile would have to be taken out, and I don’t mean Steve Irwin-style, more like Remington-style. They would watch and, when the opportunity presented itself, someone would take him out. If he was on the bank, there would be gator-tail for supper. If he was sitting on the log or on the water’s surface, he would float down stream and become supper for other creatures. Simple enough. Unfortunately, those things you think will be simple enough never are.

After several days of watching, the alligator finally sat perched on the log that crosses the stream. The shot rang out, and everyone watched for the alligator to flee into the safety of the water as his last and final act. But, that’s not what happened. Apparently “crackshot” did his job so well, the alligator died instantaneously and was still sitting right there on the log. Great. Now they would have to decide who was going to get in the creek or walk the log to see if he’s really dead and either drag him back or push him into the water. The simple task had turned complex very quickly.

On page 16, you can read about a humanitarian project being conducted by the American Peanut Council that really began when the industry learned about the use of Plumpy’ nut, a Ready To Use Therapeutic Food, which literally can be used to bring malnourished children from the brink of death back to complete health. What would seem the simple task of getting international aid groups more peanuts or peanut butter in which to make more of this life-saving paste, has been anything but. Read the article to find out about the APC’s successes thus far and what still needs to be done. If anything, it will leave you with a good feeling, and we can all use one of those these days.