Saturday, November 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree

When I was growing up, my Dad didn't believe in buying Christmas Trees (actually, he couldn't afford them). He would venture into the Florida swamps and find a wild cedar growing there, like the one I am admiring in this photo. He'd scout for a good specimen, saw it down and drag it through the swamp and back to the road, where he'd tie it to the roof of the family car and bring it home.

This activity was not without peril. I vividly remember waiting by the car wwith my brother hile Dad waded into some swampy woods with a hacksaw in hand to retrieve a particularly handsome tree he'd spotted earlier in the day. Suddenly he came splashing through the brush, running through the ankle deep water with giant, high steps and yelling for my us to get in the car. He was being chased by an enormous Cottenmouth Water Moccasin, at least a yard long and thick as my arm. When my Dad hit dry ground, he found a sturdy stick and proceeded to battle the snake, which for some reason was really aggressive and intent on biting him. My brother and I watched wide-eyed from the car as he eventually killed his foe, then proceeded back into the swamp, this time returning with his prize.

I'm not absolutely certain if the tree in this picture is the same one my Dad fought the Water Moccasin for, but it probably is - I'm about the right age.
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