my in-laws have owned a fair piece of property here in Texas for about thirty years. it's a great piece of land that has lots and lots of trees and it even has a small natural spring that feeds into a pretty large pond. over the years they've built up a very nice house that they plan to retire in eventually. in the mean time, because they have a few cattle and horses roaming around, they go every weekend to tend to the animals and general upkeep of the land. also, we (the extended family) go "out to the property" several times a year. my husband's family is huge (he's one of eight children), and "the house on the property" is the only place large enough to house everyone and their children.
so you see, several times a year the whole clan gets together for special occasions, especially Christmas, Easter, independence day weekend and the like. in the warmer months, like the summertime, the family gathers even more frequently. the papas stand around the open barbeque pit telling tall tales poking at the chicken, steaks, and weenies on the fire. the mommas drink tea and play dominos on the front porch while they watch the children swim in the pond. it's absolutely idyllic. no kidding. it even makes this self-professed city gal thank God for the outdorn.
two weeks ago, bubba, my brother-in-law, mentions to my father-in-law (whom i call pop), "i saw something that looks like a gator swimmin' on the pond." to which pop replied, "naw, it's prolly just a beaver."
this past weekend nanny (my mother-in-law) and pop arrive at their personal property to find three guys with hunting rifles perched on the shore of their private pond. pop asks what they're doing on his land and they reply, "we're huntin' gators."
my mother-in-law proceeds to the game warden's office. indeed, he's out to lunch. so, she goes next door to the sheriff's office. the sheriff phones the game warden who admits that he recently released some alligators into the creek "behind" my in-laws property. it's at this point that the sheriff, baffled, hands to phone to my mother-in-law.
mr. warden proceeds to tell nanny that he "done it cuz the gators are endangered in that there area."
"what about my family?" she asks.
"they prolly shouldn't go near the water."
"what about my grandbabies? they're out here all the time. this is dangerous. is there some kind of trap we can set?"
"oh no! you can't trap the gators unless they hurt somebody. it would be illegal."
"are you telling me they have to eat one of my grandbabies and then we'll talk?"
"well, i'm sorry ma'am but those gators are in their natural habitat..."
completely losing her religion, my mother-in-law -- oh, i'm so proud of her -- proclaims, "no sir! they're in my habitat!" before slamming down the phone.
anyone know how to take on a game warden and these preposterous "endangered species" laws?