The alligator raised himself up from the wet ground. His belly barely an inch or two above the deposed bullrushes bent flat by his travel. His bulk wiggling slowly from one side to the other as he raised each of the diagonally opposite pairs of his stubby sofa legs propelling the bulk of his torso forward. A wayward calf was dawdling mere yards away from the wall of reeds obscuring water’s edge. The immature kid’s nose busily buried downwards snuffing about the silt. The blind of vegetation camouflaging an attentive set of vertically slashed pupils mounted atop the gator’s cold toothy stare. The animal hidden within static and immobile, waiting patiently. One might contemplate what level of self-conscious had been afforded to the lizard kingdom in general? What sort of mental checklist did it tick off before initiating its lightning fast strike? Did the damp silt beneath it provide a neutral medium against which to take in any inadvertent level of fear? The pause transformed instantaneously as the gator shot forth through the final barrier of reeds towards the tiny calf, its maw half open ready to scoop up its tiny prey.
An unexpected giant shadow descended as if from the heavens upon the lizard. The alligator’s expressionless eye slits opening suddenly to a near perfect circle in its own uncustomary version of total shock. The calf’s mother having been startled by the movement of the gator had lost its footing in the damp soil. That animal had been standing equally immobile facing away from the predator just out of sight of the gator’s careful reconnoiter. Its full force of a half a ton of cow smashing squarely atop of the hustling gator awkwardly intercepting it with meteoric level of impact. The bovine horn atop the mother’s head firmly slamming deep into the lizards neck penetrating through the most vulnerable portions of the gator’s throat. The massive frame of this stunned animal bearing down mercilessly into the wound. The accompanying frenzy of this predator now turned haplessly into prey. An impotent struggle to free itself creating ever more mortal damage as it yanked its head side to side trying to free itself from an unyielding bony spike. These frantic exertions quickly dying down in a matter of moments to an inert liberally bloody repose.
A long period of intervening silence evident after the fact of the encounter being interrupted after a time by startled calf’s impassioned bleating. Nervously with great caution, it returned back to the mother tapping the lifeless cow several times with its muzzle. The supine cow, eventually come back to consciousness resurrected from its shock by its offspring’s prodding and shaking its head wildly to dig its horn free from the torn flesh of the inside of the other wounded animal. The lizard’s frame deposed gyrating slightly evidencing the last throws of failing mortality. Failing in several initial attempts, and with great effort the exhausted cow rolled over in the opposite direction to right itself. Nudging itself back up to its feet by leaning hard against the mound of its lifeless victim’s corpse. Lizard blood diagonally deposited across its neck and shoulders like a sash proclaiming an unforeseen victory. The heifer and calf trailing off up the incline away from the water’s edge as yet another set of top mounted eyes took in the aftermath of the scene. In a matter of moments the underdog of the encounter was dragged back into the river to provide sustenance to several of its fellows.