Big game hunters, or maybe big purse hunters with matching shoes

I'm perversely intrigued with the tale of Gwendolyn Wunneburger, the 77+ Texas woman, 4' 5" tall, who killed two large bull alligators one afternoon in the Paradise Ranch bayou, as reported in an AP wire story. Gwendolyn and friends were spending their Wednesday afternoon trying to catch seven hundred pound alligators on hooks baited with whole chickens. I only do that on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, myself!

Once the gators were hooked and entangled in the line, Gwendolyn got out of the boat to shoot the gators right between the eyes from twenty feet. Did she use her twenty ri-two-fle? Did she sing, "You can't get a man with a gun"? Why on earth did Gwendolyn sing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" while sitting atop the deceased 750-lb. gator?

When I'm with a pistol
I sparkle like a crystal,
Yes, I shine like the morning sun.
But I lose all my luster
When with a Bronco Buster.
Oh you can't get a man with a gun.
With a gun, with a gun,
No, you can't get a man with a gun.

Shouldn't Gwendolyn have chanted the jump rope rhyme about the lady with the alligator purse?

Mumps," said the doctor.
"Measles," said the nurse.
"Hiccups," said the lady
With the alligator purse.

Back in the mid to late Sixties I had to attend what seemed like millions of Cub Scout pack meetings in the basement of Eastridge Presby Church. My favorite Cub Scout song was the one about the lady and the crocodile, which could be a cautionary tale for Ms. Wunneburger.

She sailed away
On a bright and sunny day
On the back of a crocodile
You see, said she
He's as tame as he can be
I'll ride him down the Nile
Well, the croc winked his eye
As she waved them all goodbye
Wearing a happy smile
At the end of the ride
The lady was inside
And the smile was on the crocodile (clap, clap)

Those were the years when I watched "The American Sportsman" on ABC Sports on winter Sunday afternoons. Narrated by Curt Gowdy, the show featured celebrities stalking big game, with lots of heavy breathing, whispering, bootsteps, and wavering tall grasses, all in black and white on our little television. As the winter sun set early, we might watch "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom".

Marlin Perkins was the host of those Sunday evening broadcasts of "Wild Kingdom", and Jim Fowler was his sidekick. It seemed like Jim hollered, "It's got Marlin!," at least once each show as a large and dangerous animal threatened dear Mr. Perkins.

My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my Bonnie to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me

We kids all sang the song as an white-light-in-the-tunnel experience--Now I lay me down to sleep...If I should die before I wake...Bring back my body to me, to me. Not to be confused with Michael Row the Boat Ashore Because I'm Being Eaten By a Boa Constrictor and I Don't Like It Very Much!

© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder

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